Exxon Challenges PHMSA Over Pegasus Pipeline Leak

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company is challenging PHMSA’s claim that the company’s Pegasus pipeline that ruptured in 2013 was susceptible to seam failure, even though PHMSA reports that the pipeline had a history of such problems.

According to a PHMSA report, ExxonMobil Pipeline violated safety regulations, which led to a $2.6 million fine levied by PHMSA. ExxonMobil Pipeline is challenging both the claim and the fine.

PHMSA reported to a federal appeals court that the Pegasus pipeline had experienced several seam failures during tests and while in service, which included leaks or failures in 1969, 1984, 1991, and 2005-06.

As a result of the Pegasus disaster in 2013, PHMSA required that ExxonMobil Pipeline revise its seam-failure susceptibility process for all of its pipelines that are in similar condition.

ExxonMobil Pipeline is concerned about this requirement as it said it operates over 1,000 miles of pipe that are in similar condition to the Pegasus pipeline. The company also claimed that 25 percent of the nation’s oil pipelines are in similar condition.

The pipeline rupture in Mayflower caused the evacuation of 22 homes, and many residents never moved back. Shortly after the accident the company shut down the Pegasus pipeline that ran 850 miles from Illinois to Texas. All but 211 miles of the line remains closed today.

Houston Chronicle