Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX), November 2, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
Tesoro Logistics LP said Friday it had restarted a 35-mile section of its North Dakota pipeline that was shut on Sept. 29 after it leaked and spilled crude oil in a farmer’s wheat field.
The spill was North Dakota’s largest since at least 2002, according to data compiled by the federal pipeline safety agency and posted on its website.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration gave Tesoro permission to restart the line after Tesoro agreed to add a number of safety improvements, the company said in a statement.
Tesoro agreed to perform frequent ground and air inspections of the pipeline and install additional leak-detection equipment, the federal agency said.
San Antonio-based Tesoro also will be required to update maps of its High Plains pipeline system and “identify further preventative measures” to protect important bodies of water, the agency said.
Before Tesoro restarted the pipeline, it performed a number of tests, including installing monitoring equipment along the 35-mile section to detect leaks, the company said in a statement.
Tesoro has said the damaged part of the pipeline was sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. A preliminary report shows a hole in the pipeline could have come from an electrical discharge, the source of which is still unknown.
An initial lab report showed no signs of corrosion or other defects, the company said.
As of Thursday, Tesoro said, more than 4,500 barrels of the North Dakota spill — estimated by North Dakota officials at 20,600 barrels — have been recovered.
“There have been no injuries or known impacts to water or wildlife as a result of this incident,” the company said, adding that remediation at the site “is underway.”
Tesoro Logistics is a master limited partnership that owns pipelines, storage, terminals and rail facilities.
San Antonio refiner Tesoro Corp. partially spun off Tesoro Logistics in April 2011, and held a 40 percent stake as of June 30, including a 2 percent interest in the general partner.