Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s Pegasus crude oil pipeline, which was shut on March 29 after a leak was detected in Arkansas, will need to be excavated as the company looks to determine what caused the breach, a spokeswoman said.
“I can’t speculate on when excavation will happen,” Kimberly Brasington, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mail. “Excavation is necessary as part of an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.”
The 20-inch pipeline, which originates in Patoka, Illinois, and carries crude oil to the Texas Gulf Coast, was carrying Wabasca Heavy Crude from Western Canada, she said.
About 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been collected so far near Mayflower, Arkansas, after “a few thousand barrels were observed in the area,” the Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center, which includes Exxon, Faulkner County and the city of Mayflower, said in a statement today.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies any spill of more than 250 barrels as a “major spill,” the command said.
“Crews are steam-cleaning oil from property,” according to the joint statement. No oil has reached Lake Conway, and clean-up crews have deployed 3,600 feet of boom as a precaution, the command said.
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