ExxonMobil: Manufacturing Defects on Pegasus Pipeline Caused Oil Spill

ExxonMobil: Manufacturing Defects on Pegasus Pipeline Caused Oil Spill

An independent report conducted by Hurst Metallurgical Research Laboratory Inc. faults manufacturing defects on the Pegasus Pipeline that ruptured and spewed 150,000 gallons of crude oil in Mayflower, Arkansas, Exxon Mobil Corp. reported Wednesday.

Cracks were found near a seam that opened on the ruptured pipeline, the report stated. The report was provided to ExxonMobil and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which both declined to publicly release.

The defects identified in the report reflect the “root cause of the failure,” the company stated. Ongoing tests are being conducted to evaluate other factors in the spill that evacuated 20 families from their homes. ExxonMobil said the cleanup is continuing and the pipeline is shut-in.

“The cleanup is progressing well and restoration is complete in many affected areas,” ExxonMobil said on its website. “More than half of the evacuated homes have now completed the re-entry process, and the others are in various stages of completion.”

ExxonMobil also noted that corrosion wasn’t a contributing factor to the oil spill.

"Based on the metallurgical analysis, the independent laboratory concluded that the root cause of the failure can be attributed to original manufacturing defects — namely hook cracks near the seam," ExxonMobil reported in a news release. "Additional contributing factors include atypical pipe properties, such as extremely low impact toughness and elongation properties across the ... seam."

"We are still conducting supplemental testing, which will help us understand all factors associated with the pipe failure and allow for the verification of the integrity of the Pegasus Pipeline. These tests will help us determine the mitigation steps we need to take to ensure a similar incident does not occur again," ExxonMobil added.


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Larry Tyrrell | Jul. 15, 2013
Where was the pipe produced? What grade? Wall thickness? Operating temp and pressure? Thanks!

Max E. Ortiz | Jul. 15, 2013
See what happens when its all about the bottom dollar. Not having the right TPIs in place when need be, definitely always ends up being costly.

sassmills | Jul. 15, 2013
Exxon should know that the manufacturing standards of the forties is not a good excuse for not having taken responsibility and measures before the spill. If you are going to use equipment that was placed in service before even the EPA was developed, you need to spend the money to evaluate and replace the structures in use. This is prevalent throughout the country, and is unacceptably reactive.

Lew Warren, P. Eng. | Jul. 15, 2013
Depending upon the manufacturing date of the pipeline I question the "Hook Crack" reason for failure!! Is the pipe ERW type product or SAW type, with out the pipe grade, diameter and wall It ia just a typical catch all failure report.

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