Keystone Resumes Crude Oil Deliveries at Reduced Volumes

(P&GJ) — TC Energy said that its Keystone pipeline has returned to service following the approval of its repair and restart plan by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Crews respond to the Keystone pipeline leak in North Dakota

As part of the restart plan, TC Energy will operate the pipeline at a reduced pressure with a gradual increase in the volume of crude oil moving through the system.

The pipeline had been shut down since Oct. 29. Federal regulators last week ordered the Keystone pipeline to remain shut down until Calgary-based TC Energy determined the cause of a breach that leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons of oil in northeastern North Dakota.

"We are communicating plans to our customers and will continue working closely with them as we begin to return to normal operating conditions," TC Energy said in a statement released Sunday. "We appreciate the cooperation and support from local officials, emergency response personnel and commissioners in Walsh County, as well as the landowner who has granted permission to access land for assessment, repair and clean-up activities."

The company, which declared force majeure after last week's PHMSA order, also thanked the approximate 200 "round-the-clock personnel" focused on clean-up and remediation at the site, as well as support received from contractors and the community.

"We continue to work closely with PHMSA and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality as we investigate the cause of the incident and analyze the impacted segment of removed pipe."

The company also set up a website to provide continuing updates on its response.

Shutdown of the 590,000-bpd Keystone system appeared to indirectly have a steadying impact on oil prices Monday after reversed a five-week trend of raising inventories at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate (WTI). 

Data showed that crude inventories at Cushing fell about 1.2 million barrels in the week to Nov. 8, Reuters reported, quoting traders who cited market intelligence firm Genscape.

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