Canada's TC Energy declares force majeure after Keystone pipeline spill: sources

FILE PHOTO: Oil spilled from a section of the Keystone pipeline is seen in Walsh County, North Dakota, U.S., October 30, 2019. Taylor DeVries/North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality/Handout via REUTERS

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian pipeline operator TC Energy Corp has declared force majeure after a spill forced its Keystone oil pipeline to shut down last week, the second consecutive month it has made the declaration, sources said.

TC told shippers that the shutdown means that it cannot carry out 30% of their normal November shipments on the 590,000 barrel-per-day line from Alberta to U.S. Midwest refineries.

That implies that the company is estimating the line would be shut for about 10 days, one of the sources said, adding that TC made the declaration last week.

A TC Energy spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about force majeure.

Last month, TC declared force majeure on Keystone due to a snowstorm in Manitoba.

The pipeline spilled more than 9,000 barrels in rural North Dakota last week. On Tuesday, a U.S. regulator ordered that a segment of Keystone remain shut until TC Energy submits a restart and return-to-service plan because of the hazards posed.

TC is reviewing terms of the order and will comply with requirements to ensure the pipeline’s integrity, company spokesman Terry Cunha said.

Keystone is a vital artery for Canadian heavy crude, imported by the United States for blending with other oils and refined into gasoline, diesel and other fuels.

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker