TC Energy Shuts Down Keystone Pipeline After Spill in North Dakota

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TC Energy has temporarily shut down a portion of the Keystone Pipeline in North Dakota after a leak was detected in the northeast part of the state. The company estimates that 9,120 barrels of oil were released — about 383,040 gallons — just north of Edinburg, North Dakota, impacting about 2,500 square yards.

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A drop in pressure was detected by TC Energy’s operations control center at approximately 9:20 p.m. MT on Oct. 29, according to a company statement. Upon discovering the leak, TC Energy immediately began the process to shut down the pipeline, activated its emergency response procedures and dispatched ground technicians to respond to the incident.

In an Oct. 31 update, TC Energy reported that emergency crews remained focused on responding to the release and have begun recovering oil, using vac trucks, backhoes and other specialized equipment on-site to assist in the recovery efforts. The company indicated that the impacted area was “less than half the size of a football field” and the amount of oil that leaked was “approximately half the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”

As part of TC Energy’s reporting responsibilities to the National Response Center (NRC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the company statement said that it is necessary to provide an initial estimate of the reportable spill’s volume within the first hour of discovery. To do that, TC Energy has developed a volume estimating methodology that is based on initial measurements of the length, width, depth and estimated concentration of the visible product on the surface. The company stated it would not have the exact figure until oil recovery has been completed.

In addition, TC Energy is in the process of determining the cause of the leak and establishing air quality, water and wildlife monitoring that will continue monitoring throughout the response. There have been no reported injuries or impacted wildlife. The company said it will not know the specifics about the cause of the incident until it completes the investigation and the segment of the pipeline is analyzed by an independent metallurgical lab.

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