WASHINGTON, Kan., Dec 10 (Reuters) – Residents close to the location of the worst U.S. oil pipeline leak in a decade took the commotion and scent in stride as cleanup crews labored in near-freezing temperatures, and investigators looked for clues to what induced the spill.
A heavy odor of oil hung within the air as tractor trailers ferried mills, lighting and floor mats to a muddy web site on the outskirts of this farming group, the place a breach within the Keystone pipeline found on Wednesday spewed 14,000 barrels of oil.
Pipeline operator TC Power (TRP.TO) mentioned on Friday it was evaluating plans to restart the road, which carries 622,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil to U.S. refineries and export hubs.
“We might scent it very first thing within the morning; it was unhealthy,” mentioned Washington resident Dana Cecrle, 56. He shrugged off the disruption: “Stuff breaks. Pipelines break, oil trains derail.”
TC Power didn’t present particulars of the breach or say when a restart on the damaged section might start. Officers are scheduled on Monday to obtain a briefing on the pipeline breach and cleanup, mentioned Washington County’s emergency preparedness coordinator, Randy Hubbard, on Saturday.
OIL FLOWS TO CREEK
Environmental specialists from as distant as Mississippi had been serving to with the cleanup and federal investigators combed the location to find out what induced the 36-inch (91-cm) pipeline to interrupt.
Washington County, a rural space of about 5,500 folks, is about 200 miles (322 km) northwest of Kansas Metropolis.
The spill has not threatened the water provide or compelled residents to evacuate. Emergency employees put in booms to include oil that flowed right into a creek and that sprayed onto a hillside close to a livestock pasture, mentioned Hubbard.
TC Power goals to restart on Saturday a pipeline section that sends oil to Illinois, and one other portion that brings oil to the foremost buying and selling hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, on Dec. 20, Bloomberg Information reported, citing sources. Reuters has not verified these particulars.
It was the third spill of a number of thousand barrels of crude on the two,687-mile (4,324-km) pipeline because it opened in 2010. A earlier Keystone spill had induced the pipeline to stay shut for about two weeks.
“Hell, that is life,” mentioned 70-year-old Carol Hollingsworth of close by Hollenberg, Kansas, concerning the newest spill. “We bought to have the oil.”
TC Power had round 100 employees main the cleanup and containment efforts, and the U.S. Environmental Safety Company was offering oversight and monitoring, mentioned Kellen Ashford, an EPA spokesperson.
U.S. regulator Pipeline and Hazardous Supplies Administration (PHMSA) mentioned the corporate shut the pipeline seven minutes after receiving a leak detection alarm.
A prolonged shutdown of the pipeline might result in Canadian crude getting bottlenecked in Alberta, and drive costs on the Hardisty storage hub decrease, though value response on Friday was muted.
Western Canada Choose (WCS), the benchmark Canadian heavy grade, for December supply final traded at a reduction of $27.70 per barrel to the U.S. crude futures benchmark , in keeping with a Calgary-based dealer. On Thursday, December WCS traded as little as $33.50 underneath U.S. crude, earlier than settling at round a $28.45 low cost.
“The true influence might come if Keystone faces any (movement) strain restrictions from PHMSA, even after the pipeline is allowed to renew operations,” mentioned Ryan Saxton, head of oil knowledge at consultants Wooden Mackenzie.
Reporting by Erwin Seba in Washington, Kansas, and Nia Williams in Calgary, Alberta;
Extra reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Stephanie Kelly in New York
Modifying by Gary McWilliams, Stephen Coates and Matthew Lewis
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.