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Exxon still examining Arkansas oil spill

May 20, 2013 at 5:33 AM   |   Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., May 20 (UPI) -- Exxon Mobil is still looking for the cause of the March rupture of the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas before restating the line, a spokesman said.

A 22-foot rupture on the Pegasus oil pipeline spilled about 5,000 barrels of a diluted form of Canadian crude oil into an Arkansas neighborhood in late March. The state's attorney general requested extensive information from the company and it was issued a corrective action order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Exxon said it has most of the standing oil removed and has moved into a long-term remediation phase. Company spokesman Aaron Stryk told Inside Climate News that despite replacing the damaged section of pipe, it hasn't been restarted.

"This pipeline will not be restarted until we are convinced it is safe to do so," he said. "We need to identify the cause of the incident and the mitigation steps necessary to prevent an incident like this from occurring again."

The PHMSA corrective action order listed several issues for the pipeline. Stryk said the company was still examining data from a pipeline probe, which it would share with the PHMSA in "the coming months."

About 42 gallons of oil spilled from a section of the Pegasus pipeline in Missouri near the border with Arkansas in early May.

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