The Keystone oil pipeline has leaked 383,000 gallons of oil in North Dakota, said state regulators on Thursday.
The pipeline operated by TC Energy that carries tar sands oil from Canada through seven U.S. states was shut down after the leak was discovered, said North Dakota’s water quality division director, according to a report from The Associated Press.
TC Energy, in a news release, said the leak affects about 22,500 square feet, or around half an acre, of land in northeastern North Dakota, according to a statement from the Canadian firm.
The firm downplayed the leak, saying it is “less than half the size of a football field” while the amount of oil was “approximately half the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”
“Our crews will remain focused on oil recovery and then prepare to make repairs to the pipeline. We will provide updates as they become available,” it said, adding that “we will not have the exact figure until oil recovery has been completed.”
What’s more, there have been no reported injuries or impacted wildlife following the spill. The cause of the spill has not yet been determined, said the firm.
Karl Rockeman, North Dakota’s water quality director, said officials were told about the spill on Tuesday evening, which was the same day as the leak, reported The Associated Press. He said wetlands were affected, but not any drinking water sources.
State regulators have been at the site since Wednesday afternoon to monitor the site and cleanup, he told the news agency.
Crude oil started flowing through the Keystone pipeline starting in 2011, and it can now handle 23 million gallons per day.
The spill comes as TC Energy seeks to build the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries.
In November 2017, the Keystone pipeline leaked about 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.
“It’s a valid question, two cracks on a fairly new pipeline, geez what’s going on?” asked Richard Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts, which is a pipeline safety consulting firm. He added that “age is not a predictor of pipeline failure. I have seen new pipelines that have really been abused and I have seen old pipelines that look like new,” reported the Star-Tribune.
The Keystone pipeline designed to transport crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and into North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri before going to Illinois and Oklahoma refineries.
The Sierra Club said that the latest spill is an example of why the Keystone XL should not be constructed. “We don’t yet know the extent of the damage from this latest tar sands spill, but what we do know is that this is not the first time this pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last,” it said.