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Investigators, cleanup crews begin to survey Kansas oil pipeline spill by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the site where the Keystone Pipeline crosses U.S. Route 36 east of Washington, Kansas, United States December 8, 2022 in this photo taken from social media. Fred Knapp/Nebraska Public Media News via REUTERS/File Photo

Written by Erwin Seba and Nia Williams

WASHINGTON, Kansas (Reuters) – Emergency crews prepared Friday to work through the weekend to clean up the biggest oil spill in nearly a decade, as workers descend on this farming community from as far away as Mississippi.

A witness told Reuters that a thick smell of oil was wafting in the air as trailers transported generators, lighting and floor mats to the muddy site. An official said federal investigators were at the site trying to help determine the cause of the spill of about 14,000 barrels of oil from western Canada.

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Pipeline operator TC Energy (NYSE: NYSE) said on Friday it was evaluating plans to restart the line, which carries 622,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries and export hubs. It did not provide details of the breach or when the restart might begin.

Analysts said that the outage may affect oil stocks at the storage center in Cushing, Oklahoma, and cut off crude supplies from refining centers in the central United States and the Gulf Coast.

“We’re starting to get a better sense of what cleanup efforts need to be done for the long haul,” said Kellen Ashford (NYSE: ), a spokesperson for EPA Region 7, which includes Kansas.

Environmentalists worked in near-freezing temperatures and crews set up equipment to allow operations to continue for several days.

TC Energy aims to restart the segment of the pipeline on Saturday that sends oil to Illinois, and another segment that carries oil to Cushing on Dec. 20, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources. Reuters has not verified these details.

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This is the third spill of several thousand barrels of crude oil on the pipeline since it opened in 2010. An earlier Keystone leak caused the pipeline to remain closed for about two weeks.

Ashford said TC Energy remained on site with about 100 workers leading cleanup and containment efforts, and the Environmental Protection Agency was providing oversight and monitoring. TC is responsible for determining the cause of the leak.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Substances Administration, the US regulator, said the company shut down the pipeline seven minutes after receiving the leak detection alert. The affected part, measuring 36 inches (91 cm) in diameter, was the Phase 2 extension from Keystone to Cushing that was built in 2011.

Washington County, a rural area of ​​about 5,500 residents, is about 200 miles (320 km) northwest of Kansas City.

Washington County Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Hubbard told Reuters the leak did not threaten local water supplies and did not force local residents to evacuate. Workers quickly erected a containment area to limit oil spills into the creek from flowing downstream.

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“There is no human consumption of drinking water that could result from this,” Hubbard said.

He added that livestock producers in the area have been notified and have taken their own corrective measures to protect their animals.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the main federal agency that oversees inland oil spills. If the EPA finds TC Energy responsible for the spill, the company will be liable for the cost of cleanup and repair of any damage to the environment, as well as potential civil and criminal penalties.

Pipeline operators are usually held liable for violations committed by the EPA through the Clean Water Act (CWA) and related Oil Pollution Act, among others, according to Zygmunt Blatter, professor of environmental law at Boston College Law School.

These federal laws restrict the discharge of pollutants such as oil into waterways and hold pipeline operators liable for costs associated with containment, cleanup, and damage from spills.

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Crude Butlink

A prolonged pipeline shutdown could also choke Canadian crude oil in Alberta, sending prices lower at storage hub Hardesty, though the price reaction was muted on Friday.

Western Canada Select (WCS), the heavy Canadian benchmark for delivery last December, traded at a discount of $27.70 a barrel to the benchmark US crude futures contract, according to a Calgary-based broker. On Thursday, the December WCS traded at $33.50 for US crude, before settling at around $28.45 for the discount.

PHMSA must agree to restart the line. Even once the pipeline is up and running again, the affected area will have to flow at reduced rates pending approval by the PHMSA.

“The real impact could come if Keystone faces any pressure constraints from PHMSA, even after the pipeline is allowed to resume operations,” said Ryan Saxton, Wood Mackenzie’s head of oil data.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.