PHMSA fines ExxonMobil Pipeline $2.6 million for 2013 Arkansas leak

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) fined ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. more than $2.6 million in connection with the 2013 rupture causing a crude-oil leak from its Pegasus Pipeline near Mayflower, Ark. (OGJ Online, Apr. 1, 2013).

In its final administrative action on the matter, PHMSA said the line failed because the ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary violated federal pipeline safety regulations for integrity management and operations and maintenance procedures.

“The failure investigation concluded that the cause of the incident was a result of time intensified defects of originally manufactured pipe,” the US Department of Transportation agency said. About 3,190 bbl of oil spilled from the 853-mile, 20-in. line from Patoka, Ill., to Nederland, Tex., it said.

PHMSA approved ExxonMobil Pipeline’s request to return the pipeline’s southern segment to service in July 2014 at a reduced operating pressure. The line’s northern segment, which extends through Mayflower, remains out of service under PHMSA's authority, PHMSA said.

ExxonMobil Pipeline and a second ExxonMobil subsidiary, Mobil Pipeline Co., agreed to pay $5 million to the federal government and the Arkansas state government earlier this year to settle charges stemming from the incident (OGJ Online, Apr. 22, 2015).

“ExxonMobil Pipeline has received and is evaluating its options with respect to PHMSA’s final order for the 2013 Mayflower incident,” a spokesman said on Oct. 2 in response to OGJ’s inquiry.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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