Kansas stretch of Keystone hit by oil spill back in service
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A pipeline operator put a damaged section in Kansas back into service Thursday, a little more than three weeks after a spill dumped 14,000 bathtubs' worth of crude oil into a rural creek.
Canada-based T.C. Energy announced that it had completed repairs, inspections and testing on its Keystone pipeline in northeast Kansas to allow a "controlled restart" of the section from Steele City, Nebraska, near the Kansas line, to Cushing, in northern Oklahoma. The 2,700-mile Keystone system carries heavy crude oil extracted from tar sands in western Canada to the Gulf Coast and to central Illinois.
A spill on Dec. 7 shut down the Keystone system after dumping 14,000 barrels of crude oil into a creek running through rural pastureland in Washington County, about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City. Each barrel is 42 gallons, the size of a household bathtub.
NORTHEASTERN KANSAS OIL SPILL SHUTS DOWN KEYSTONE PIPELINE
The U.S. Department of Transportation's pipeline safety arm gave TC Energy permission last week to restart the section of pipeline after telling the company that it would have to operate it at lower pressure than before. The company's announcement disclosed that it still is working to determine the cause of the spill.
"We recognize that incidents like this raise questions. We have questions too. We are committed to asking those tough questions, fully investigating and sharing our learnings and actions," Richard Prior, the company's president for liquids pipelines, said in an online message.
The rupture occurred on local farmer Bill Pannbacker's land, and he said he's bothered the company reopened the section of pipeline when "they haven’t at least given an official cause" of the accident.