A planned pipeline, destined to ship oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to the U.S.A. faced stiff opposition. Supporters of the X L Keystone pipeline maintain the project will supply the U.S.A. with competitively priced fuel, avoiding a reliance on Middle Eastern suppliers, and give Alberta a good financial return, whilst protesters are adamant that the potential risk to the environment outweighs any positives.
Protesters who said " if you build it, it will leak" have sadly been proved correct. News that a pipeline spill has spewed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas has put weight behind the arguments of those opposing pipeline and tar sands development. Reuters reports, "Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said on Sunday that crews had yet to excavate the area around the pipeline breach, a needed step before the company can estimate how long repairs will take and when the line might restart.
"I can't speculate on when it will happen," Jeffers said. "Excavation is necessary as part of an investigation to determine the cause of the incident."
Exxon's Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.
Exxon also had no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but the company said 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered - up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday. The company did not say how much of the total was oil and how much was water."
At time of writing the pipeline is closed and the clean-up continuing. Sunday Residents in the area Mayflower, Arkansas, confronted Exxon bosses over concerns whether an evacuation was mandatory and fears regarding future values of homes in the area.
It is worth noting that the leaking pipeline is 65-year-old. Proponents of the new pipeline will say this proves the need for an upgrade. However those opposing the transport of oil tar across Canada and the U.S.A. are angry at the increased amounts of oil being transported.
The Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower is closed for the foreseeable future. Exxon bosses declined to comment on when it may reopen. 22 homes were affected and the there are reports of the stink of oil in Mayflower Monday. The pipeline was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak, which is a bitumen oil from the massive Pelican Lake field in northern Alberta and needs blending with lighter oils or natural gas liquids to shift it through pipelines.
Read full story here:Reuters
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