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

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 Gardner
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company
Public and Government Affairs Advisor

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


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

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016

Most Shared

  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Denny Altes resigns as state drug czar

    Former legislator Denny Altes of Fort Smith, appointed state drug prevention director by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in May 2015, resigned today effective July 1.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

  • Camera catches racist rant in NWA Walmart

    A Facebook video that catches an ugly rant against a Latina woman and a black person in a Walmart in Centerton, Ark., has gone viral. Note that a Walmart manager in the video takes the side of those berated and the company said it doesn't condone such.
  • Feds announce 61 named in 18-month Little Rock drug investigation

    The U.S. attorney's office announced today that a joint operation with local law enforcement had led this morning to arrests in the indictment of dozens of drug and gun dealers in the Little Rock area, the culmination of an 18-month investigation.

Most Recent Comments




© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation