The Keystone Pipeline was shut down Wednesday night after fuel began to leak into a creek in Kansas, about 20 miles south of the border town of Steele City, Nebraska.
Canada-based pipeline operator TC Energy said an emergency shutdown and response was initiated after alarms sounded and a pressure drop was detected in the system.
“The affected segment has been isolated, and booms deployed to control downstream migration,” the Calgary company said in a release.
TC Energy declared force majeure, a contractual term used when a company encounters an “act of God” and which typically indicates that supply agreements will go unfulfilled, according to Bloomberg.
The pipeline is capable of carrying more than 600,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the U.S., and it splits in Nebraska. One fork goes east to Illinois, while the other goes south to Oklahoma and from there to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Federal regulators with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are on the scene in Washington, Kansas investigating the cause of the leak, officials told CNN.
Oil prices temporarily spiked to $75.44 per barrel after the news broke, before easing slightly. The Keystone Pipeline’s supply is not easily replaced, experts say.
“We’re seeing a pop in prices because this will impact refiners that take this crude,” Matt Smith, a commodities analyst for the Kpler firm, told CNN.
TC Energy’s current priority is containment and mitigation of the spill and its effects, it said.
“Our primary focus right now is the health and safety of onsite staff and personnel, the surrounding community, and mitigating risk to the environment,” the company wrote.