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Exxon pipeline leak under investigation

Keywords: Tags  ExxonMobil Pipeline, oil spill, Arkansas spill, pipeline leak, Keystone XL, TransCanada, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., an affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp., has recovered about 12,000 barrels of oil and water from a pipeline leak that occurred March 29 near Mayflower, Ark.

“The cause of the spill is under investigation,” the Irving, Texas-based company said.

The incident has been categorized as a “major spill” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The 20-inch Pegasus pipeline carries crude oil to the Texas Gulf Coast from Patoka, Ill.

Pipe distributors expect little immediate impact.

“I don’t think it’s going to have a major effect. My initial thought on that would be ... that I read about it for the first time last night so it was not something that was highly publicized,” according to one Southern line pipe distributor, noting that Exxon’s responses to spills have typically been “prompt.”

Media reports following the incident said it could rekindle concerns about TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, although the Calgary, Alberta-based company reiterated in a response to the Exxon spill that the Keystone XL would be “the safest pipeline built to date in North America.”

“TransCanada plans on building the most advanced, state-of-the-art pipeline ... using the latest technology, highest-strength steel and most modern welding techniques,” a company spokesman told AMM via e-mail, adding that the company has “voluntarily agreed to 57 new safety procedures” for the proposed 830,000-barrel-per-day, $5.3-billion pipeline.

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