The San Antonio River Authority is investigating an oil spill that has stained walkways and emitted a foul odor just north of downtown. Oil spillage could be seen on Tuesday night on the River Walk near VFW Post 76.
(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil confirmed on Wednesday that an oil spill occurred Tuesday on its Pegasus crude pipeline in Ripley County, Missouri - the same line that ruptured thousands of barrels of oil into an Arkansas neighborhood at the end of March.
An Exxon spokeswoman said a resident notified the company of oil staining on the surface near the pipeline on Tuesday. The cleanup of the one-barrel leak was near completion, she said.
The pipeline was already out of service following a spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, on March 29, Exxon said.
It oozed oil for a confirmed 10 days, or a rumoured 30, depending on the source. But the oil spill, one of the province’s largest, went unnoticed by most media outlets. Upwards of 100,000 litres, approx., 500 barrels, of oil spilled out a broken underground flow line near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, covering an area equivalent in size to two football fields a half mile from Carlyle Jorgensen’s farmland and mere metres from Jackson Creek in an area of the province known to house many rare plant and animal species. The leak is reported to have started end of January of this year. The Brandon Sun was the only major news source to cover the spill. Sun reporter Graeme Bruce broke his usual silence and gave other media, Spectator Tribune, the information it needed to start investigating the story, in the interest of getting the word out. (via Manitoba’s dark secret | Spectator Tribune)
Last Friday, as national attention turned to the massive Exxon Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, another oil spill was occurring near Houston, Texas. Operators of a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary’s West Columbia pipeline, a 15 mile long, 16 inch diameter line, received warnings from the US National Response Center of a potential 700 barrel release (nearly 30,000 gallons) of crude oil on Friday, March 29.
Yesterday, representatives from the US Coast Guard acknowledged at least 50 barrels of oil had entered Vince Bayou, a waterway connected to the Gulf of Mexico.
On Monday, April 1, Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon told Reuters “no evidence” of a crude oil leak had been found. “Right now, we haven’t seen anything,” she said at the time. Investigators have since determined at least 60 barrels of the spilled oil had entered the Bayou. It is unclear at this time what kind of crude oil the pipeline carried.
The ExxonMobil Pegasus tar sands pipeline spilled around 185,000 gallons of tar sands, undisclosed toxic chemicals and contaminated water in Arkansas yesterday.
Like many tar sands pipelines, Pegasus was actually an older pipeline which had its flow reversed. This is also the case for the Seaway pipeline in Texas and possible tar sands pipelines in New England.
Thousands of gallons of pollution recovered from oil & gas spill in Colorado March 23, 2013
Cleanup continues at the site of an underground spill of thousands of gallons of pollution related to the oil and gas industry in the heart of Colorado’s fracking country.
The underground leak islocated near the town of Parachuteand has threatened to contaminate Parachute Creek, which flows into the Colorado River. State officials continue to report that buffers have kept the creek safe, so far.
Colorado regulators reported that nearly 6,000 gallons of “hydrocarbons” had been recovered from the site. At least 102,564 gallons of contaminated water have been recovered, as well.
The spill site is near a natural gas plant operated by Williams Energy, and another company, WPX Energy, operates underground oil and gas pipelines in the area. Both companies are working to contain the spill but neither company has taken responsibility, publicly revealed the source of the pollution or identified the type of hydrocarbons contaminating the area.
Spokespeople for Williams did not respond to several inquiries from Truthout.
Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said that work had begun on Wednesday to excavate a large pipe in the spill area, where workers are “proceeding with care and deliberation.”
Earlier this week, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued notices of “alleged violation” to Williams and WPX. The commission ordered both companies to continue working to contain the spill and submit a cleanup plan to regulators.
Williams Energy workers first identified the spill on March 8, but the company did not alert the nearby town of Parachute until five days later, which frustrated local officials who visited the site this week. It’s unclear how long the underground plume of pollution was growing before Williams discovered the contamination in an area adjacent to its gas plant.
A local cattleman told The Denver Post that such spills are common in the area and often remain secret, and state records show that the oil and gas industry is responsible for hundreds of spills each year,the newspaper reports.
Advancements in drilling technology, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,”have facilitated an oil and gas rushin Colorado and several other states. The environmental group Earthjustice reports that at least eight fracking-related accidents,mostly involving contaminated wells, have occurred across the state.
In a statement, the Colorado Wildlife Federation said the spill might have been detected earlier with better monitoring.
“This is one more strong argument for keeping oil and gas wells and related infrastructure a safe distance from waterways,” said Suzanne O’Neill, the organization’s executive director. “Regulators pledged to form a stakeholders’ group to develop standards for riparian setbacks a while ago. We’re still waiting.”
In 2008, Colorado regulators failed to include protections and buffer zones for waterways as they overhauled regulations for the oil and gas industry, the group noted.
The first image (top) is a stunning landscape aerial of a northern part of Alaska called North Slope. To the far left, you can see ConocoPhillips’s private airport, named Alpine Airstrip, and also their oil drilling operation on the permafrost along a river.
The second image is a zoom in of the airstrip and the operation. Note the oval where I think the spill occurred.
The third image zooms in a bit more. You can see the pipeline and some detail of the permafrost, which looks like crocodile skin. On the right, you can see a flare at the top of a well. Top right, you can see the containment booms stretched into the river and a dark stream of oil leaking into the river.
The forth screenshot is blurry. But, you can clearly see oil containment booms anchored on the river banks and dark stream of oil in the water.
Google’s watermark on this map is 2013, so these satellite shots are very recent. This is a fresh spill but doesn’t look at all major.
Still, I find this spill interesting for two reasons:
First, as I’ve written before, spills occur all the time. And it’s incredible that the media doesn’t cover enough spills in remote, dangerous parts of the world. I get that environmental reporting doesn’t generate substantial revenue, but that is not the primary mission of news organizations. Look at any news outlet’s mission statement and you’ll find one thing in common: they exist to inform the public. Do you feel informed? It is up to the public to demand more environmental news, otherwise spills like these remain unnoticed, to the giddy thrill of oil companies.
Second, last week, Shell was banned from drilling in the Alaskan Arctic seas. While this is a temporary ban, it shows that the administration is concerned with oil and gas exploration in remote, dangerous areas of the United States. But, even when oil companies state in their environmental assessments that they’ll play nice, they don’t. Indeed, considering the volume of spills, the weakness of fines and inspections, and the lack of interest in the news, oil companies are having a field day.
It should not be up to unpaid bloggers like me to expose major environmental harms. It is the responsibility of the media. And they need to get on this.
550 barrels of crude oil leak into Tyler County creeks February 27, 2013
Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Dale Freeman says 20,000 gallons of oil have spilled into Otter Creek off County Road 2590. Tyler County officials were alerted to the spill Saturday by residents who noticed the oil in Otter creek; the oil company did not report the leak themselves, but instead tried to cover it up & downplay the significance.
Otter Creek feeds Russell Creek and Russell feeds the Neches River.
The pipeline is owned by Sunoco Logistics and the company says the leak has been patched up and oil is no longer flowing through the pipeline.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are helping with the clean up. Crews have been ordered to work around the clock until it is complete.
This is consistent with environmental activists’ serious concerns that all pipelines leak - which is why we cannot allow Obama to approve Transcanada’s plan to build one of the largest hazards to American health in our history, with no benefit to the people who will become very sick for Transcanada’s profits. And that’s the power of ‘free market’ solutions for you; you get oil-tea.