One of the biggest oil spills in a decade is brought under control

A leak in the Keystone pipeline, which spilled up to 2.2 million gallons of crude oil into a waterway in the United States, was due to be brought under control Friday, according to US authorities. If the estimate of the size of the flow is confirmed, it would be the largest oil spill in the United States since 2013, according to the Pipeline Safety Trust Association, which promotes oil pipeline safety.

Canadian company TC Energy, which manages the infrastructure, saw the incident Wednesday night in Kansas and immediately stopped the flow of hydrocarbons in the pipeline.

Built a dam

“The affected segment remains isolated” and oil flow downstream “is being curtailed,” the company said in a statement Friday. The cause of the pipe burst was not immediately determined. “We are monitoring and investigating the leak in the Keystone pipeline,” US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet.

The agency responsible for pipeline safety (PHMSA) had urged the company on Thursday to “take all necessary measures to protect the public, property and the environment from potential hazards” related to the leak.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, TC Energy built an earthen dam about 4 miles downstream from the incident “to prevent further oil leakage.”

Rise in the price of the barrel

The group also brought garbage trucks and equipment to recover oil that spilled into Mill Creek waters. Recovery of the product should continue until next week, the agency said in a statement Friday.

The Keystone Pipeline enables the transportation of hydrocarbons from the province of Alberta, in western Canada, to various destinations in the United States. It currently transports around 600,000 barrels a day in normal times.

On Friday, the company said it was still evaluating when it could restart the service. The PHMSA agency must give the green light. Oil prices rose temporarily on Thursday following news of the leak, before falling again.

The impact of the incident on the energy market will depend on the duration of the suspension of Keystone, which in particular brings crude oil to the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma, where the US oil used as a reference for investors is stored.

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