TransCanada, the oil company that operates the controversial Keystone Pipeline, admitted to the Aberdeen News that their November oil leak was twice as large as initially reported — about 9.7k barrels of oil.
The revised estimate makes the leak one of the 10 largest onshore oil spills in America since 2010.
TransCanada has some experience patching up leaks
After failing to plug holes poked in their reputation by politicians and environmentalists, TransCanada’s hopes to expand Keystone XL seemed to dry up in November 2015 when President Obama rejected their proposal.
But in 2017 an executive order issued by President Trump prompted TransCanada to take the project off the back burner with some slick lobbying.
TransCanada won final permission to proceed with the $8B project on Nov. 20 — 4 days after sweeping the “5k-barrel” spill under the rug (and by “rug” we mean “South Dakota cornfield”).
It’ll take more than an itty-bitty oil spill to slow ’em down now
Damage control on the minor environmental catastrophe was no biggie for TransCanada — which reopened the damaged pipeline just 12 days after the leak and paid just $9.57m to clean up the spill — about 0.07% of their $13B annual revenue.
Just 2 months later, oil prices had their highest January opening in 5 years — helping TransCanada secure contracts to ship 500k barrels every day for the next 20 years, with construction on the final XL segment beginning as early as 2019.
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