One of the biggest oil spills in a decade on the way to being brought under control

A leak on the Keystone pipeline, which spilled up to 2.2 million liters of crude oil into a waterway in the United States, was on its way to being brought under control on Friday, according to American authorities. If the estimate of the magnitude of the flow is confirmed, it will be the largest oil leak in the United States since 2013, according to the Pipeline Safety Trust association, which promotes the safety of oil pipelines.

The Canadian company TC Energy, which operates the infrastructure, spotted the incident on Wednesday evening in Kansas and immediately stopped the flow of hydrocarbons in the pipe.

A dam set up

“The affected segment remains isolated” and the flow of oil downstream “is contained,” the company said in a message Friday. The cause of the pipe rupture was not immediately identified. “We are monitoring and investigating the Keystone Pipeline leak,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet.

The agency in charge of pipeline safety (PHMSA) had urged the company on Thursday to take “all necessary measures to protect the public, property and the environment from potential dangers” linked to the leak.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, TC Energy erected an earth dam about 6 kilometers downstream of the incident “to prevent further oil spillage”.

Rise in the price of the barrel

The group also brought garbage trucks and equipment to recover oil spilled in the water of Mill Creek. Product recovery should continue until next week, the agency said in a statement Friday.

The Keystone pipeline allows the transport of hydrocarbons from the province of Alberta, in western Canada, to several destinations in the United States. It currently transports in normal times around 600,000 barrels per day.

On Friday, the company said it was still evaluating when it could restart the service. The PHMSA agency must give the green light. Oil prices temporarily spiked on Thursday after news of the leak before falling again.

The impact of the incident on the energy market will depend on the duration of the suspension of Keystone, which notably brings crude oil to the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma where the American oil used as a reference for investors is stored.

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