Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tests on Exxon pipeline flawed, expert says

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 6:16 PM

click to enlarge BREAKING POINT: Photo shows tear in line that led to oil spill in Mayflower. - DUNCAN LAW FIRM
  • Duncan law firm
  • BREAKING POINT: Photo shows tear in line that led to oil spill in Mayflower.
Inside Climate News, the prize-winning news outlet that we partnered with on reporting on the ExxonMobil pipeline break at Mayflower, has new reporting today based on FOI-produced documents that raise questions about the adequacy of testing aimed at assuring the safety of restarting the northern portion of the line.

ExxonMobil could restart the northern leg of its Pegasus oil pipeline within a year, but the company's pre-startup tests could leave behind threats large enough to endanger the public, according to a review of Exxon's proposal.

Those details and others are laid out in Exxon's repair plan for the Pegasus northern segment, a document that was submitted to federal pipeline regulators at the end of March. The so-called "integrity verification and remedial work plan" was not publicly released, but InsideClimate News obtained a copy through a public records request.

Exxon plans to conduct stress tests on the pipeline to prove that it can be safely restarted. But the company also said if high-pressure tests trigger a significant number of pipeline failures, it might lower the pressures—a downgrade that could leave dangerous cracks in the pipe. The Pegasus split apart in Mayflower, Ark. in March 2013, and sent a flood of Canadian diluted bitumen into a neighborhood.

A pipeline safety expert says Exxon's testing approach is flawed, though he favors hydrotesting. He said some portions of the line could be tested below adequate pressures. Another unnamed expert shared those concerns, but said he lacked sufficient information to make a fully informed opinion about the sufficiency of testing.

A federal agency is currently reviewing the testing plan. If regulators are satisfied, they could approve a restart of the line before completion of year-long analysis of all tests.


Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Thursday's open line and news video: Also reclaiming local schools

    The open line and Thursday's news in Arkansas.
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • Judge charged in battery case suspended from bench

    Cabot District Judge Joe O'Bryan, arrested last Friday night for an alleged drunken assault on his girlfriend, should be suspended from the bench while his misdemeanor case is pending, the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission decided today. The Commission also confirmed an ongoing investigation against another district judge over using criminal defendants for personal work.
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson's dilemma same as Beebe's and his GOP affiliation doesn't help

    Ernest Dumas writes about the difficulties faced by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in matching the achievements of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, even though he, like the majority of the legislature is a Republican. In short, Hutchinson needs Obamacare money, though his party rests on a foundation that hates Obamacare.
  • Visionary Arkansans 2015

    They make an impact.
  • Brantley: South toward home

    A two-week cruise from Vancouver to Alaska was nicely timed for the August heat wave. It dipped into the 40s during my visit to the Hubbard Glacier, loudly "calving" with mighty booms of cracking ice. Here's a brief politically tinged travelogue.
  • New York Times fails again

    If one were of a low and suspicious nature regarding the New York Times' historically inept Washington Bureau, one might suspect yet another example of the "Clinton Rules" — that is, a shaky allegation unsupported by facts.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation