Tens of Thousands of Pipeline Miles at Risk of Pegasus-Style Rupture That Spewed Tar Sands Into Arkansas Town
Review of Pegasus pipeline found known 'manufacturing defects' likely cause of Mayflower oil spill
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer
Workers remove the ruptured portion of Exxon's Pegasus pipeline. (Screenshot: ABC Channel 7 News)The March 29 rupture of Exxon Mobil's Pegasus pipeline—which flooded a Mayflower, Arkansas neighborhood with over 200,000 gallons of tar sands oil—was likely caused by known "manufacturing defects," with grave implications for the tens of thousands of similarly built pipelines still in the ground and operating, according to a review released Thursday.
An examination of the 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline and its 22-foot-gash found that the pipeline failure "resulted from an original manufacturing defect of the electronic resistance welded (ERW) pipe," according to a spokesman from the Hurst Metallurgical Research Laboratory.
Citing an ongoing investigation, both Exxon and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) waited nearly a month after receiving the report before releasing the details to Arkansas newspaper Log Cabin Democrat Thursday.
Implications of the report are significant as it shows that pipelines "similarly manufactured, and in the same era as the ruptured line in Mayflower, are inferior and susceptible to failure," the Democrat reports.
A pipeline industry insider who declined to be named told Common Dreams that there are "tens of thousands of miles of pipeline in the ground and operating from the approximate vintage" as the Pegasus pipeline.