Officials expect the Keystone oil pipeline spillage cleanup to take place over several weeks

Read Time:2 Minute, 49 Second

Rod Nickel

(Reuters) – The cleanup of the largest oil spillage in the U.S. in nearly a decade is likely to take weeks longer, Kansas officials stated Tuesday. This was citing a recent meeting between Keystone pipeline owner TC Energy Corp.

After the accidental release of 14,000 barrels of crude oil into the water, TC closed down the pipeline in Washington County, Kansas. Regulators will have to approve a restart plan. There is no timeline yet.

On Monday, TC officials and county officials met briefly.

Randy Hubbard is the Washington County emergency management coordinator. “They said they expected to stay here for several weeks,” he stated. “They didn’t qualify what that is.”

TC did not answer questions and regulators are still trying to find the source of the leak.

Kansas State Representative Lisa Moser posted online Monday that Sabotage was ruled out.

The Keystone Line, carrying heavy Canadian crude oil from Alberta to the U.S. refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast at a rate of 622,000 barrels per day, has had a special permit since 2017 to operate at a higher rate that any other crude line in the United States.

According to TC., workers have recovered around 2,600 barrels worth of oil and water from the creek. The creek does not supply water to the household.

Raleigh Ordoyne of Washington said that TC’s cleanup efforts have exceeded all expectations.

Ordoyne explained that TC Energy is taking care of business “in a world where nobody stands behind their product”

“They have boots on the ground 24 hours a day and I can’t imagine any cleaner job.”

Moser explained that Mill Creek continues to be sucked oil by vacuum trucks, but that skimmers – which collect water from the surface – are not performing well because of the cool temperatures.

Moser explained that five landowners directly suffered the effects of the spillage. Nine other landowners also have staging areas for TC workers, which Moser added, noting that all 14 landowners will be receiving compensation.

Jeanette Stamm (78), who lives on pasture land 2 miles (3 km) from the spillage site, expressed concern about crews’ ability to remove all oil from Mill Creek, and whether any crude oil could seep into the groundwater.

“I hope (the region) will all return to how it was. It is not certain if it will ever happen.

Hubbard stated that TC assured the county oil would not be able to reach the drinking water table and other water sources.

On Tuesday, Washington County saw light rain but it is expected to clear by the end of the day according to the National Weather Service.

Hubbard stated that “they’re using large equipment in fields that are muddy so it will undoubtedly slow them down.”

U.S. crude oil futures rose 3.5% to $75.73 a barrel Tuesday, aided by supply worries related to the Keystone shut down. [O/R]

Since the spillage was disclosed, TC Energy shares have risen by 0.5%

According to the EPA, more than 300 people were employed by TC, the Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, and the county, according to Tuesday’s statement.

According to the agency, there has not been any additional impact on the oil spilled since Friday’s last update.

(Reporting done by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg. Additional reporting by Stephanie Kelly New York. Editing by Marguerita Chuy.

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