A leak in the Keystone pipeline that spilled some 2.2 million liters of crude oil into a watercourse in Kansas, the United States, was under control on Friday, US authorities said.
If the magnitude of the spill is confirmed, it would be the largest oil leak in the United States since 2013, according to the Pipeline Safety Trust, which promotes pipeline safety.
The Canadian company TC Energy, which operates the infrastructure, detected the incident on Wednesday night and immediately suspended the flow of hydrocarbons in the pipeline.
“The affected stretch remains isolated” and the downstream oil spill “is contained,” the company said in a message on Friday.
An oil spill in a creek in northeastern Kansas this week is the largest for an onshore crude pipeline in more than nine years and by far the biggest in the history of the Keystone pipeline, according to federal data. https://t.co/peXmN0xtY5— The Associated Press (@AP) December 9, 2022
The cause of the pipeline rupture was not immediately identified. “We are monitoring and investigating,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet.
The agency in charge of pipeline safety, PHMSA, asked the company to take all necessary measures to protect the public, property and the environment from potential dangers arising from the leak.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, TC Energy erected an earthen barrier about four miles downstream of the incident to prevent any additional spillage.
The group also mobilized trucks and special equipment to remove the oil spilled in Mill Creek.
The Keystone pipeline allows the transportation of hydrocarbons from the province of Alberta (western Canada) to various destinations in the United States. It currently transports around 600,000 barrels per day in normal times.
The impact of the leak on the energy market will depend on the duration of the suspension of Keystone, which transports crude oil to the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma, where the US oil reserves that serve as a reference for investors are stored.