Bueckeye's Pipeline Repair Facing Storm Delays After River Spill

Buckeye Partners LP said on Monday that they plan on beginning full repair work this week on the jet fuel pipeline that breached and spilled 8,000 gallons of fuel into Indiana’s St. Marys River over the weekend.

Although clean-up efforts are already underway, replacing the broken line will need to be delayed because of rain storms that have raised the river’s level near Decatur, Indiana, said Buckeye spokesman Marty White.

“We’re dealing with the elements,” White said. “We’re hoping to get the pipeline back up and running this week, but it’s too soon to tell.”

The company does not yet have an estimate of clean-up costs and is unclear on when clean-up will finish or when the pipeline will be brought back online, White said.

The pipeline is buried beneath the channel and it would be impossible to fully repair it before water levels recede to normal levels, White said.


250+ Orphaned Wells Cause Colorado Governor to Suggest Bond Increase

Colorado’s governor has suggested on Wednesday that regulators study whether states should require companies to post bigger bonds prior to drilling in order to cover costs of plugging inactive wells and cleaning up sites in the case a company fails to do so.

He also ordered state regulators to accelerate the cleanup of inactive oil and gas wells that have been neglected by owners walking away.

There are about 260 wells, and 110 other oil and gas sites without wells, that Colorado considers “orphans” because of owners not being able to be found, unwilling to help or simply being unable to deal with them.

The governor said that the number would increase as some energy companies go out of business, resulting in the discovery of previously unknown orphaned wells.

He signed an executive order directing the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to categorize each orphaned wells priority as high, medium or low with a goal to clean all non-low priority wells by July 2023.

The Colorado Legislature increased the limit spent on plugging orphan wells and sites to $5 million annually, after previously being only $445,000.

It would take around $25 million to plug and clean up the currently discovered orphaned wells and sites, according to the governor.

He also said that he wants new bonding requirements to be in place by September of 2019.

Bonds for individual wells are currently $10,000 or $20,000 depending on depth. Blanket bonds cost $60,000 for 100 wells statewide and $100,000 for more than 100 wells.  

Hastings Tribune

Five-Year Cleanup of 840,000-gallon Oil Pipeline Spill Wraps Up in North Dakota

A North Dakota farm family affected by a 2013 oil spill that leaked some 840,000 gallons of oil across their wheat field is finally ready to plant for the first time after nearly five years of cleanup work.

The spill came from a pipeline owned by former Tesoro, which is now Andeavor, who said lightning may have struck the line and caused the pipeline rupture in northern North Dakota near the Canadian border in 2013.

The spill came to affect about 14 acres of land and has cost the pipeline company $93 million in cleanup efforts. The original cost estimate of cleanup was about $4 million.

The pipeline company said the spill did not affect water sources or any wildlife.

The farm family told reporters it hopes to plant a cover crop this year on the spill-affected area to put nutrients back into the soil in order to encourage a cash crop next year.

The Andeavor spill has been called one of the largest onshore spills in U.S. history.

Houston Chronicle

Washington Gov. Signs Measure to Boost Oil Transportation Safety in State

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday signed a law improving oil transportation safety to protect state waterways from contamination.

The legislation includes the intent to raise funds that would be used in the prevention of oil spills as well as in the development of tighter preparedness plans that would be followed if oil were to contaminate waterways.

The measure also extends the state's oil barrel tax to pipelines, which currently pays for spill response prevention measures for oil received by train or vessels.

The Department of Ecology must increase coordination with Canadian partners to increase safety, data sharing, and to talk about issues related to reducing oil spill risk and navigational safety.

The DOE must also practice equipment deployment drills every three years for onshore and offshore sites, according to the measure.

The Spokesman-Review

TransCanada Recovers More Than 44,000 Gallons of Crude at Keystone Pipeline Spill Site

TransCanada reports it has recovered 44,400 gallons of oil from the Keystone pipeline spill site that occurred in South Dakota earlier this month.

TransCanada shut down its 590,000 barrels-per-day Keystone pipeline on November 16 after it disclosed a 210,000 gallon spill on agricultural land in Amherst, South Dakota. A restart date has not yet been determined.

The company currently has about 170 personnel on site helping in cleanup activities.

The company said preliminary inspections of the damaged section of its Keystone pipeline will be done by the company and PHMSA staffs then sent to D.C. for an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board's Metallurgical Laboratory.

TransCanada also said it conducted tests on a residential water well near the spill site and said all test results were normal.

The Keystone pipeline began operations in 2010 and transports crude from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma.


Repairs Made to Ruptured Longhorn Pipeline; Operations Resumed

A Magellan Midstream Partners crude oil pipeline that burst last week has been repaired and is operating normally again as of Sunday afternoon.

The 275,000-barrel-per-day Longhorn pipeline was shut down last Thursday when it spilled 1,200 barrels of crude near Bastrop, Texas, south of Austin.

The leak occurred when a contractor accidentally hit a fitting while doing maintenance, according to Magellan Midstream Partners.

No injuries were reported when the leak occurred, but it caused the temporary evacuation of 15 residential homes.

Cleanup operations are still underway. No spilled oil reached water, according to the company.


Plains All American Pipeline Continues Cleanup of 19,000-Gallon Oil Spill

Crews from Plains All American Pipeline are working to clean up a 19,000-gallon oil spill that was reported northwest of Oklahoma City on Friday.

Although the pipeline spill was reported Friday, the actual start date of the spill is currently unknown. Plains All American Pipeline issued a statement Tuesday saying it was still investigating the cause of the leak.

Officials believe corrosion may have caused a small hole in the pipeline, resulting in the leak.

According to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, about 70 acres of farmland were affected by the 450-barrel spill, and the oil also reached a small creek but was contained before flowing into a second creek that runs into the Cimarron River.

The commission said it would work with the EPA to test the water quality in the affected waterways to ensure they are fully recovered before signing off on the cleanup process.

Houston Chronicle

Cleanup Underway at Dakota Access Protest Campsite, Signals Cooperation Among Clashes

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota ( Native News Online )

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota (Native News Online)

Cleanup of a protest camp near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota is underway, signaling cooperation between authorities and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who have clashed in recent months.

The groups made a decision to clean the polluted campsite on Sunday, agreeing that keeping the debris onsite could cause environmental disaster and risk to public safety should spring floods occur.

The campsite is located on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was once home to up to 10,000 protestors during the height of protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Since then the number of protestors remaining has dwindled to just a few hundred after a tribe leader encouraged people to go home when a permit to continue construction on the pipeline was denied in December.

Those in charge of cleaning the site, which consists of abandoned cars, structures, and waste, said their intention is not to destroy the camp but to prevent waste from contaminating water sources.

Few protestors remain at the camp and continue to fight a pipeline they believe would contaminate water supply and destroy sacred Native American sites. Protestors celebrated a victory in December when the Army Corps denied a permit needed to construct under the Missouri River, but their victory was short-lived after President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to expedite the completion of the pipeline.



Crews at North Dakota Pipeline Spill Attempt to Burn Oil as Cleanup Technique

Crews at the site of a Bell Fourche Pipeline spill in North Dakota are testing to see if burning the spilled oil would be a viable cleanup option for the larger sections of the creek.

The pipeline spill was discovered December 5 about 16 miles northwest of Belfield, and spilled an estimated 176,000 gallons of oil into Ash Coulee Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River.

So far crews have recovered 52,752 gallons from the water as of Wednesday night, according to a spokeswoman for the pipeline owner.

Spill investigation program manager Bill Suess said he has seen open burning used to recover oil from smaller bodies of water and on land as a way to keep oil from reaching larger bodies of water.

The Department of Health's Air Quality Division will overlook the process, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies involved in the investigation and cleanup.

An investigation is still ongoing, but crews have said the pipeline break, which occurred near a "slumpy hillside" along its path was due to unstable conditions.

Bismarck Tribune