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Section of Keystone pipeline closed in Missouri due to oil spill

12 February 2019

TransCanada said its Keystone pipeline, which carries Canadian crude to the US, was likely to be the source of an oil spill in Missouri that prompted the company to shut a segment of the line. This disruption comes as US Gulf Coast refiners increased demand for Alberta oilsands crude as an alternative to Venezuelan heavy crude now subject to US sanctions.

Representative image - Shutterstock
Representative image - Shutterstock

This is the latest pipeline bottleneck limiting exports of Canadian crude. Oilsands producers have been forced to ration exports because of limited pipeline and railcar capacity.

The 43-barrel oil leak had prompted another Canadian pipeline company, Enbridge, to shut its nearby Platte crude line, pending investigation. This line has now returned to service.

The 590,000 barrel-a-day Keystone line is an important conduit for Alberta heavy crude to reach US refiners. A segment of the line running from Steele City, Nebraska, to Patoka, Illinois remains shut, with no estimate for restart. Other sections remain open.

TransCanada has approximately 75 people on site to continue to excavate and safely expose the pipeline segment of concern. The company says there is no threat to public safety or the environment.

Keystone runs parallel to Enbridge’s Platte line and feeds refineries owned by BP, Marathon and one jointly by Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy.

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