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12,000-Gallon Oil Spill: ExxonMobil Pipeline Rupture Affecting Arkansas Wildlife

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April 02, 2013

12,000-Gallon Oil Spill: ExxonMobil Pipeline Rupture Affecting Arkansas Wildlife

By Chad Love

An oil pipeline rupture that has spewed over 12,000 gallons of crude oil into a small Arkansas town is starting to affect local wildlife, according to this story on Fox News:
The environmental impacts of an oil spill in central Arkansas began to come into focus Monday as officials said a couple of dead ducks and 10 live oily birds were found after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured last week.

"I'm an animal lover, a wildlife lover, as probably most of the people here are," Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson told reporters. "We don't like to see that. No one does." Officials are urging people in Mayflower, a small city about 20 miles northwest of Little Rock, not to touch any injured or oiled animals as crews clean up Friday's spill. About 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been recovered since ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline sprung a leak, spewing oil onto lawns and roadways and nearly fouling a nearby lake.

According to the story, the ruptured pipeline was built in the 1940s and is part of a system that carries crude oil from the Midwest to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Other news accounts say the aging pipeline was carrying Canadian heavy tar sands crude from northern Alberta. Opponents of tar sands crude say the heavy bitumen oil must be blended with lighter oils or gas liquids in order to flow, which in turn makes it more corrosive to pipelines and increasing the likelihood of spills. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar sands oil across the continent to gulf coast refineries, to then be shipped for export markets rather than domestic use, has come under heavy criticism for what opponents say is the potential for even more and much larger pipeline ruptures.

Comments (12)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Steward wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

A little more info:
Proponents of Keystone argue that it is not more corrosive, and more importantly, pipeline technology has developed to the point that if there is a leak, it is immediately identified and flow is cut off. It has also been noted that few news sources are discussing the recent train derailment that also resulted in an oil spill. Trains are an increasingly popular way of transporting oil. It is suggested, though, that trains carry a higher risk of spills, and that they routinely go through populated areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323296504578396850749052848.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The timing of this "leak" is not coincidental. I'm thinking sabotage. There are many who will do anything to stop the Keystone pipeline, despite the fact that pipelines are, by far, the safest way to transport oil.

Like an airplane crash with multiple fatalities, people will cringe at the thought. But they don't stop flying, because it's still the safest method of travel, etc. etc.

Make decisions based on facts and logic, not emotion. Of course in U.S. politics, that may be asking for too much.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

1 MILLION Gallons spilled into the Kalamazoo River in southern MI a couple of years ago because of a corrosive pipeline. I personaly witnessed oil covered geese walking around and saw the sludge floating down the blackened river. The smell is overpowering.

The clean-up cost has approached 1 billion dollars. The "good news" in the situation is that the river is arguably cleaner now than it has been in nearly fifty years and a lot of money got dumped into our community during the lengthy clean-up process. Surprisingly, not that many animals were actually affected. Mostly turtles.

There is a chapter in the book "Trophy White Tales" titled "White Pine, Black Water" that highlights the author deer hunting a half mile from the river while the clean-up crews work 24/7 utilizing air boats and helicoptors. A very good read.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tara EC wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The claim that the oil which would be shipped via KeystoneXL is more corrosive and increases the risk for leaks is incorrect. Oil pipelines are designed to handle whatever flows through them. Pipelines that transport heavy oils, a categorization that includes diluted bitumen, normally operate at higher pressure levels than is necessary for lighter crude oil, but such lines still must meet specifications required by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tara EC wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

It’s wrong to try and draw conclusions about KeystoneXL based on what happened in Arkansas. The Keystone XL pipeline is unrelated to this pipeline spill and the two issues should not be confused. It’s unwise to use a single accident as a means to change our entire national energy strategy. The Keystone XL pipeline is perhaps the most studied trans-border pipeline in history, with more than 50 safety standards that go above the legal requirements, next-generation pipeline technology and a 24-7 monitoring system. Pipelines are still the safest way to transport oil, with the lowest spill rate of any form of conveyance.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

"It’s unwise to use a single accident as a means to change our entire national energy strategy."

2/15/1978 16,000 barrels lost at pump station no. 5 Alaska Pipeline.

Between 1991 and 1994 there were 164 minor spills on the Alaska pipeline.

10/04/2001 6144 barrels lost at Steel Creek, Alaska Pipeline.

3/2/2006 6357 barrels lost near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

5/2010 "several thousand" barrels lost near Fort Greely, Alaska Pipeline.

7/04/2011 1000 barrels lost into the Yellowstone River, Montana.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Because I believe in transparency, honesty and full disclose, I'm going to have to "out" ya, Tara.

Tara EC works for Energy Citizens: an arm of the American Petroleum Institute.

Just goes to show what lengths the fossil fuel industry will go to get their way; from buying our politicians, to spending billions in advertising and PR, to their staffers patrolling message boards posing as ordinary citizens.

Careful what ya read I guess..

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The incomplete list of oil and gas pipeline accidents on wikipedia, beginning in the year 2000, contains 230 line items, if I counted correctly.

230 in one decade.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The smell is horrific, the watershed connects to Lake Conway and Lake Maumelle(one of the most pristine and plentiful freshwater fisheries in the world and also the Central Arkansas drinking water source. The 12,000 barrel figure is related to what has been vacuumed up not the total leaked. I fish and duck hunt these areas every year and live 12 miles away from the leak. Don't ever let them put a pipeline in your state, they can build refineries up North they don't have to ship North America's crude oil to Texas.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Thats why we need new pipelines to replace the old ones. I think the oil companies would love to refine more oil where its drilled. Go ahead build a refinery in Iowa thats where the corn for more ethanol is at. Nobody wants refineries in their back yard so they overload the old ones. I know we can't do without clean water but is anyone willing to give up what oil brings to their life. How do you get to work? What heats and cools your home? Go ahead and say AR NUKE1 in Russellville. How bout try building another one of those? Do you know where WhiteBluff is at? Ever heard of a coal slurry pipeline? Got any plastics in your home? I grew up in Arkansas, seen plenty of gas and oil pipelines already there. AJ can you say ARKLA GAS, Cheasepeake. Bet you have hunted over a pipeline or two. Can't have it both ways. Gotta break some eggs to have an omlet.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I think the 12,000 is barrels not gallons

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Because I believe in transparency, honesty and full disclose, I'm going to have to "out" ya, Tara.

Tara EC works for Energy Citizens: an arm of the American Petroleum Institute.

Just goes to show what lengths the fossil fuel industry will go to get their way; from buying our politicians, to spending billions in advertising and PR, to their staffers patrolling message boards posing as ordinary citizens.

Careful what ya read I guess..

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The incomplete list of oil and gas pipeline accidents on wikipedia, beginning in the year 2000, contains 230 line items, if I counted correctly.

230 in one decade.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

"It’s unwise to use a single accident as a means to change our entire national energy strategy."

2/15/1978 16,000 barrels lost at pump station no. 5 Alaska Pipeline.

Between 1991 and 1994 there were 164 minor spills on the Alaska pipeline.

10/04/2001 6144 barrels lost at Steel Creek, Alaska Pipeline.

3/2/2006 6357 barrels lost near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

5/2010 "several thousand" barrels lost near Fort Greely, Alaska Pipeline.

7/04/2011 1000 barrels lost into the Yellowstone River, Montana.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The smell is horrific, the watershed connects to Lake Conway and Lake Maumelle(one of the most pristine and plentiful freshwater fisheries in the world and also the Central Arkansas drinking water source. The 12,000 barrel figure is related to what has been vacuumed up not the total leaked. I fish and duck hunt these areas every year and live 12 miles away from the leak. Don't ever let them put a pipeline in your state, they can build refineries up North they don't have to ship North America's crude oil to Texas.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

1 MILLION Gallons spilled into the Kalamazoo River in southern MI a couple of years ago because of a corrosive pipeline. I personaly witnessed oil covered geese walking around and saw the sludge floating down the blackened river. The smell is overpowering.

The clean-up cost has approached 1 billion dollars. The "good news" in the situation is that the river is arguably cleaner now than it has been in nearly fifty years and a lot of money got dumped into our community during the lengthy clean-up process. Surprisingly, not that many animals were actually affected. Mostly turtles.

There is a chapter in the book "Trophy White Tales" titled "White Pine, Black Water" that highlights the author deer hunting a half mile from the river while the clean-up crews work 24/7 utilizing air boats and helicoptors. A very good read.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

A little more info:
Proponents of Keystone argue that it is not more corrosive, and more importantly, pipeline technology has developed to the point that if there is a leak, it is immediately identified and flow is cut off. It has also been noted that few news sources are discussing the recent train derailment that also resulted in an oil spill. Trains are an increasingly popular way of transporting oil. It is suggested, though, that trains carry a higher risk of spills, and that they routinely go through populated areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323296504578396850749052848.html

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I think the 12,000 is barrels not gallons

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Thats why we need new pipelines to replace the old ones. I think the oil companies would love to refine more oil where its drilled. Go ahead build a refinery in Iowa thats where the corn for more ethanol is at. Nobody wants refineries in their back yard so they overload the old ones. I know we can't do without clean water but is anyone willing to give up what oil brings to their life. How do you get to work? What heats and cools your home? Go ahead and say AR NUKE1 in Russellville. How bout try building another one of those? Do you know where WhiteBluff is at? Ever heard of a coal slurry pipeline? Got any plastics in your home? I grew up in Arkansas, seen plenty of gas and oil pipelines already there. AJ can you say ARKLA GAS, Cheasepeake. Bet you have hunted over a pipeline or two. Can't have it both ways. Gotta break some eggs to have an omlet.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The timing of this "leak" is not coincidental. I'm thinking sabotage. There are many who will do anything to stop the Keystone pipeline, despite the fact that pipelines are, by far, the safest way to transport oil.

Like an airplane crash with multiple fatalities, people will cringe at the thought. But they don't stop flying, because it's still the safest method of travel, etc. etc.

Make decisions based on facts and logic, not emotion. Of course in U.S. politics, that may be asking for too much.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tara EC wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

The claim that the oil which would be shipped via KeystoneXL is more corrosive and increases the risk for leaks is incorrect. Oil pipelines are designed to handle whatever flows through them. Pipelines that transport heavy oils, a categorization that includes diluted bitumen, normally operate at higher pressure levels than is necessary for lighter crude oil, but such lines still must meet specifications required by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tara EC wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

It’s wrong to try and draw conclusions about KeystoneXL based on what happened in Arkansas. The Keystone XL pipeline is unrelated to this pipeline spill and the two issues should not be confused. It’s unwise to use a single accident as a means to change our entire national energy strategy. The Keystone XL pipeline is perhaps the most studied trans-border pipeline in history, with more than 50 safety standards that go above the legal requirements, next-generation pipeline technology and a 24-7 monitoring system. Pipelines are still the safest way to transport oil, with the lowest spill rate of any form of conveyance.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report

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