TransCanada says Keystone likely source of Missouri oil leak

Marco Green
February 9, 2019

An oil leak near St. Louis, Missouri likely originated from TransCanada Corp's Keystone pipeline, the company said on Friday, with no projected restart timetable for the portion of the line that remains shut. Enbridge's Platte pipeline was initially closed from Casper, Wyoming, to Wood River, Illinois.

Officials don't yet know how much oil leaked, but the DNR's preliminary estimate is 43 barrels, or 6,814 litres. He said there was no threat to public safety or the environment.

The shutdown of part of Keystone comes at a time in which Canadian heavy crude is becoming increasingly in demand as refiners look to replace the heavy crude grades from Venezuela after the US slapped sweeping sanctions on the Latin American country's oil industry and its state oil firm PDVSA.

Sections of both the Keystone pipeline and Enbridge's Platte pipeline were closed as crews sought to find the source of the leak, which was discovered Wednesday in St. Charles County.

The exact quantity of oil released can not be determined until excavation is complete and it's unclear how long the release lasted, Quinn said.

"The source of the release has not been fully determined, but it is apparent that it originated at either the TransCanada Keystone pipeline or the Enbridge pipeline; there is no visible release near the other pipelines", Missouri Department of Natural Resources spokesman Brian Quinn said in an email.

Canadian pipelines are already congested because of expanding production in recent years, forcing the Alberta provincial government to order production cuts starting last month.

According to data from Net Energy Exchange quoted by Reuters, the discount of Western Canadian Select (WCS)-the benchmark price of oil from Canada's oil sands-to WTI widened on Thursday morning to US$10.15 a barrel from US$9.40 a barrel earlier. The immediate concern is that leaked oil could contaminate farm wells, Hickey said.

TransCanada shares eased 0.2 percent to C$55.98 in Toronto.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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