Pipeline transport

November 14, 2013

ND fire leads to oil & saltwater spill

Read here about an explosion in North Dakota that resulted in an oil and saltwater spill.


November 13, 2013

Tesoro Logistics restarts North Dakota pipeline

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.


August 14, 2013

Pipeline driller still polluting

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, August 12, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A company that faces state sanctions and fines for pipeline-construction spills in eastern Ohio continues to foul streams and wetlands.

Scott Nally, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, told Denver-based MarkWest Energy in a March 8 letter that the size and repeated nature of four spills dating to September were “unacceptable.”

As the EPA and the company negotiate penalties, agency reports show that MarkWest and its contractors have had 13 additional spills in Belmont, Harrison, Guernsey, Monroe and Noble counties, including a 1,200-gallon slurry spill that polluted a Monroe County wetland in July.

MarkWest attorney Chris Jones said the most-recent spills are smaller and less severe than those reported in 2012.

Much of MarkWest’s problem stems from drilling in areas that were once strip-mined for coal, Jones said. Soils and rocks there often are too loosely packed to contain the slurry.

“If there is any indication of a void in the ground, we stop drilling and address it,” said Jones, a former Ohio EPA director.

EPA spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said the agency continues to investigate the spills.

Teresa Mills, fracking coordinator for the Buckeye Forest Council, an environmental advocacy group, said the state should be tougher on the company.

“They should just totally make (MarkWest) stop until they figure out how to do it properly,” Mills said.…

August 6, 2013

ND Oil Co Fined for Endangering Drinking Water Source

Read here about an oil and gas company in North Dakota that has been fined a record $1.5 million for endangering a drinking water source.


April 19, 2013

Minneapolis sues CenterPoint over 2011 gas explosion

Source: StarTribune, Minneapolis, April 18, 2013
By: Alejandra Matos

Two years after a gas explosion in south Minneapolis, officials from the city and CenterPoint still dispute who is responsible for blast.

It was a memorable St. Patrick’s Day in south Minneapolis two years ago when a gas line exploded at 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue. The force of the blast torched vehicles, one of which was Necole Berglund’s, in the Cub Foods parking lot. No one was injured.
Photo: Brian Peterson , Star Tribune

The dispute between Minneapolis and CenterPoint Energy over who was at fault for a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011 is heading to court.

The city of Minneapolis filed a lawsuit last month against CenterPoint Energy claiming the Texas-based natural gas company was negligent in maintaining and repairing the pipe running under 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue S. The city is seeking compensation for damages to its infrastructure caused by the blast.…

April 8, 2013

Oil barrels recovered in AR

Read here about thousands of barrels of oil and water that have been recovered after a pipeline ruptured in Arkansas.


February 21, 2013

Pipeline plan takes long way around

Source: The Sparta Independent, February 20, 2013
By: Daniel Fitzsimmons and Thomas Bias

Tennessee Gas uses eminent domain to move forward with jughandle route

Photo by Thomas Bias
George Feighner observing the deforestation of his property by cutting crews.

On Feb. 15, men with chainsaws descended upon the hill behind George Feighner’s house in Montague and began clearing trees and brush to make way for a natural gas pipeline.

Feighner, 87, owns property that the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is using in the final stage of its Northeast Upgrade Project to connect a pipeline from Milford, PA, to a natural gas hub in Mahwah, NJ. The gas is obtained in Pennsylvania through a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves injecting chemicals underground to break up shale deposits that contain natural gas.

In 2011, Tennessee Gas informed Feighner they intended to seize his property through eminent domain in order to construct the pipeline. After consulting a lawyer, Feighner found he could not take legal action directly against Tennessee Gas and instead had to appeal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The commission approved Tennessee Gas’ project last May and denied an emergency stay last Thursday, clearing way for work to begin the following day. According to Feighner, the energy regulatory commission did no more than act on Tennessee Gas’ wishes.…

May 11, 2012

PG&E San Bruno Explosion: Memo Shows Company Knew About Problems With Pipeline

Source: Huffington Post, San Francisco, CA, April 23, 2012
By: Aaron Sankin

An internal memo recently handed over by PG&E to state regulators shows that the company had known about weld failures on the pipeline running underneath San Bruno for over twenty years before it exploded into a destructive fireball in 2010.

In 1988, PG&E discovered a leak in the pipeline only a few miles south of San Bruno and launched an investigation into what went wrong. The following year, the firm noted that the most likely reason for the fault was a defective weld along the pipe’s seam–a similar issue to what cased the 2010 disaster.

The San Francisco-based energy giant only recently handed the memo over to regulators, claiming that it was unaware of its existence while government probes into the explosion were still open. The company discovered the memo during a search of eleven million documents related to its natural gas infrastructure.

According to federal law, the discovery of a problem with a seam weld should have triggered a test on the entire 51-mile pipeline that possibly could have discovered the flaw that left eight people dead and 38 homes in ruins. While that law was passed in 2002, it was retroactive and applies to the 1988 leak.

The pipeline, termed Line 132, wasn’t originally constructed by PG&E. Instead, the company inherited it from the the now-defunct Consolidated Western, which had created the line in the 1940s and ’50s, likely out of salvaged parts from old pipelines. The leak occurred near the Crystal Springs Reservoir, about nine miles south of the site of the San Bruno blast.

PG&E now counters that it was unlikely the 1988 leak was was due to a problem with a longitudinal seam weld. Instead, PG&E spokesperson David Eisenhauer told the San Francisco Chronicle that the culprit was actually girth weld, one that goes around the pipe instead of running along it, and would not have triggered a test of the full line because girth weld leaks are not considered as dangerous.…

September 26, 2011

PA Homeowners and Gas Pipeline Co Sue Each Other

Read here about some Pennsylvania homeowners and a gas pipeline company that have sued each other over a pipeline to be built that would connect to Marcellus Shale wells.…

March 7, 2011

PG&E Faults Sewer Work Under San Bruno Gas Line

Source: San Jose Mercury News, March 3, 2011
Posted on: http://enr.construction.com
By: Steve Johnson

A PG&E inspector has expressed concerns to federal investigators about the methods used in 2008 to install a sewer line just inches below the natural gas line that erupted in San Bruno on Sept. 9, according to documents made public this week.

The sewer project under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is of concern to some experts and government regulators in large part because the work involved a procedure that produces violent ground shaking. The inspector said the sewer line was installed without his direct oversight and closer to the gas pipe than he wanted — a claim the contractor on the job disputes in part. But the inspector ultimately concluded that the work “seemed to be OK.” …