The Associated Press

Feds send corrective order to Exxon after oil leak

Federal pipeline safety officials on Tuesday issued a corrective action order to ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. after one of its pipelines ruptured last week in central Arkansas.
By
Jeannie Nuss

The order prevents ExxonMobil from restarting operations on the failed segment of the pipeline until the agency is satisfied with repairs and is confident that all immediate safety concerns have been addressed.

Investigators are still working to figure out what caused the pipeline to rupture, but the corrective action order says ExxonMobil reversed the system flow of the pipeline in 2006.

“A change in direction of flow can affect the hydraulic and stress demands on the pipeline,” the order, dated Tuesday, says.

About 3,500 to 5,000 barrels of crude oil spilled after the pipeline ruptured, according to ExxonMobil estimates cited in the corrective action order. That oil spewed onto lawns and roadways and almost fouled nearby Lake Conway. No one was hurt, but the spill led authorities to evacuate more than 20 homes...

[ExxonMobil spokesman Alan T.] Jeffers also said the company had no comment after a Central Arkansas Water official said the water system plans to formally request that ExxonMobil relocate the Pegasus pipeline outside the area that drains into the main source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of customers in the region.