PHMSA issues CAO to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. following ND leak

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. in Casper, Wyo., following a Dec. 5 crude oil leak on one of its pipelines in North Dakota.

The accident on the Bicentennial system resulted in 4,200 bbl of crude being released into Ash Coulee Creek in Billings County, ND, PHMSA said on Dec. 21.

The pipeline failure’s cause has not been determined, the US Department of Transportation agency emphasized. A preliminary investigation by PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety said there apparently was ground movement near the leak’s location.

The segment that was involved was installed 45 ft below the ground’s surface in 2013, PHMSA said. The accident did not cause any known human injuries, but may have poisoned some cattle when some of the spilled crude entered the nearby Little Missouri National Grassland.

PHMSA’s order required Belle Fourche Pipeline to shut the pipeline down immediately and remove the affected segment for analysis when weather allows it.

BFP also was ordered to conduct daily aerial patrols of the line for 2 weeks following the order’s issuance, complete mechanical and metallurgical testing of the failed pipe segment within 90 days, complete a root failure analysis supplemented and facilitated by an independent third-party vendor acceptable to PHMSA’s director within 120 days, and review and assess its emergency response effectiveness as related to the failure within 90 days.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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