Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UPDATE: Pipeline Safety Office continues shutdown order on entire ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

pipelinesplit.gif
Thanks to Arkansas Blog reader Radical Centrist for some crowd sourcing. He gave us a headsup on a May 10 finding by the Office of Pipeline Safety related to its review of the pipeline break at Mayflower March 29 that spilled tar sands crude on a residential neighborhood and nearby wetlands. Here's the document.

Bottom line from a quick scan: It confirms an April 2 corrective action order that the entire ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline remain shut down until "certain" corrective actions are taken. A safety hazard would otherwise exist. ExxonMobil had argued that a southern portion of the pipeline, about 200 miles from Corsicana to Nederland, Texas, was constructed later (most of it in 1954 but a shorter section in 1973) of different materials and should be exempt from the order. The Pipeline Office said, however, that other factors were considered in covering the entire line with the order, including the age of the line, the lack of results from a 2013 inspection, the change of direction of the pipeline flow in 2006, the proxmity of the line to heavy populations and environmentally sensitive areas and the uncertainty of the cause of the break. "Integrity concerns" exist about the type of pipe used in both sections of the line, the letter said. The letter expressed concerns, too, about the sufficiency of tests for "seam integrity." Photos of the ruptured pipe in Mayflower (see photo above supplied by the Duncan Law Firm) have suggested to some that a split seam was at the root of the break. The letter said it did not appear so far that the nature of the crude carried in the line caused the break through corrosion. ExxonMobil hadn't asked for an end to the order shutting down the 648-mile stretch north from Corsicana through Arkansas to Illinois while the cause of the break is studied.

The letter notes that the line was operating below maximum pressure when it ruptured and that the company was alerted to the break by a drop in pressure. The letter said it took 16 minutes to shut the line down at valves 18 miles apart after that pressure drop was noticed. The cause of the break remains undetermined so far, the letter notes. It says 3,500 to 5,000 barrels of oil were released.

If earlier reporting on the original Pipeline Safety order holds, ExxonMobil will have to win approval of a restart plan for the entire pipeline before it can again move crude through the line.

UPDATE: I sought a comment from ExxonMobil. This came in:

Per your inquiry below, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (EMPCo) can confirm that we have received PHMSA’s post-hearing decision on EMPCo’s request for clarification of the Corrective Action Order (CAO) regarding the Pegasus pipeline. EMPCo requested a hearing on the CAO to better understand PHMSA’s restart plan requirements.

Any restart of these lines will comply with the CAO and the operating pressures will not exceed 80% of the actual operating pressures in effect immediately prior to the failure. We will not restart the pipeline until both the relevant government authorities and we are convinced it is safe to do so.

Kind regards,
Amber

Amber Gardner
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company
Public and Government Affairs Advisor

Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Tackling autism, child by child

    An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause.
  • Tom Cotton flat on his big night

    Sen. Tom Cotton's big Republican National Convention speech was nothing to write home about.
  • 1957 all over again

    Last week, the State Board of Education voted to ignore federal courts and allow school district transfers that will encourage segregation.
  • Death penalty lives

    Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month from the unlikeliest quarter, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • Drinking culture

    Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, it's reasonable to ask what college administrators can possibly be thinking about.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation