On Friday afternoon a pipe in Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline, which carries more than 3.7 million gallons of crude oil a day between Illinois and Texas, burst in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas.
Residents were evacuated from 22 homes as thousands of barrels worth of heavy Canadian crude oil flowed through back yards, and along the roads in a residential neighborhood. The Environmental Protection Agency has called it a ‘major oil spill’.
Joe Bradley, one of the evacuated residents, described a scene where oil was “running down the road like a river.” Officials have not been able to confirm when the area will be safe enough for people to return to their houses.
Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts said to Reuters: “whether it's the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or ... the mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment.”
Relative article: Pipelines Can't Handle North American Oil Boom
The spill comes just days after a train accident in Minnesota saw 15,000 gallons of oil spilled.
Exxon has estimated that a total of 80,000 gallons escaped during the 45 minutes that it took for the leak to be detected and then stopped.
We recently interviewed the CEO of Synodon – a pipeline leak detection company. You can see the full interview here: Can Leak Detection End the Pipeline Impasse? Interview with Adrian Banica
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com