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Pipeline operator given green light to restart operations at site of Kansas oil spill

Oil Spill Restart.png
Posted at 12:13 PM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 13:13:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The operator of the portion of the Keystone Pipeline that ruptured earlier this month in north-central Kansas has been given the green-light to resume operations.

TC Energy, the operator of the Keystone Pipeline, recently submitted a restart application to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.

The application covers a section of the pipeline in Washington County, Kansas, where a Dec. 7 rupture spilled roughly 14,000 barrels of oil into nearby fields and Mill Creek.

In an update Friday, the company says it has received approval to restart operations at that part of the pipeline.

While the company has a green light to resume operation, an exact timetable for the pipeline to reopen has not yet been set.

“We will be commencing activities to support the safe restart of the segment, including rigorous testing and inspections, and this will take several days,” TC Energy posted online Friday.

A PHMSA spokesperson says the agency will have personnel on scene throughout the holiday season in reviewing the restart operations.

Earlier this week, the company said it sent a section of the ruptured pipeline to an independent metallurgical lab for analysis. The results of the analysis have not yet been released.

As of Wednesday, TC Energy estimated its crews had recovered 7,600 barrels of the 14,000 barrels that had spilled on Dec. 7.

Recovery activities have slowed this week as the company works to limit employee exposure to frigid temperatures.