ExxonMobil Pipeline addressing Arkansas crude oil spill

ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.’s 20-in. OD, 848-mile Pegasus crude oil pipeline ruptured Mar. 29 near Mayflower, Ark., about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock. The pipeline has been shut in and crews are working to contain the spill. Cleanup crews deployed 2,000 ft of boom and are using 15 vacuum trucks to clean up the oil, recovering roughly 12,000 bbl of oil and water as of Mar. 31. Crews also deployed 3,600 ft of boom near Lake Conway as a precaution, but have so far reported no oil reaching the lake.

ExxonMobil said it observed “a few thousand barrels of oil” in the Mayflower area but was staging a response for more than 10,000 bbl to be conservative. The company was investigating the spill’s cause. Reports cited the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated as much as 2,000 bbl of oil had been released.

The Pegasus pipeline starts in Patoka, Ill., and carries 95,000 b/d of primarily heavy Canadian crude oil to the Sunoco Logistics terminal in Nederland, Tex.

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last week proposed a $1.7-million fine on ExxonMobil Pipeline for its 40,000 b/d Silvertip pipeline’s 1,500-bbl spill into the Yellowstone River in July 2011.

ExxonMobil reversed Pegasus to flow to the US Gulf Coast in 2006.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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