Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bubbling Crude

From Jeannie Nuss - HuffPo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An ExxonMobil pipeline that ruptured last month and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in central Arkansas has a gash in it that is 22 feet long and 2 inches wide, state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Wednesday.

"The pipeline rupture is substantially larger than many of us initially thought," McDaniel told reporters Wednesday evening.

McDaniel's update on the March 29 oil spill in Mayflower, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock, comes as lawyers and investigators review more than 12,500 pages of documents his office received from ExxonMobil. McDaniel sent a subpoena to ExxonMobil, seeking inspection records, investigative documents and maintenance records related to its Pegasus pipeline that ruptured in Mayflower.

It wasn't immediately clear what all the documents contain; McDaniel said his office received them just before he held a news conference Wednesday.

"More documents will be received and requested from Exxon in coming days," McDaniel said. "But now everyone's priority continues to be the cleanup efforts in Mayflower."

So far, crews have recovered about 28,200 barrels of oily water and about 2,000 cubic yards of oiled soil and debris, according to a statement from ExxonMobil and local officials.

"We still do not know how much oil was released. We still do not know the exact makeup of the crude itself, of the chemical solvents used in the transportation process," McDaniel said. "And our immediate concern tonight is with the weather..."

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