ExxonMobil Briefs Central AR Water on Pipeline Concerns after Mayflower Spill

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Central Arkansas Water (CAW) has had another conversation with ExxonMobil representatives about its future plans for the pipeline involved in the Mayflower oil spill.

Next month (March 29) marks one-year since the rupture that spilled more than 200-thousand gallons of heavy crude oil into the Northwoods subdivision neighborhood, drainage ditches and a Lake Conway cove. 

According to notes from a Feb. 11 conference call, CAW spokesman John Tynan and technical services officer John Hart learned that the oil giant was still in repair mode. ExxonMobil is waiting on approval from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in order to install a new check valve station and pipeline stream at the site.

ExxonMobil reps told CAW that plans include the installation of temporary plugs and removal of oil in a line segment to construct the new valve. The company says that work is not part of the remedial workplan or a restart plan for the northern Pegasus pipeline that stretches from Patoka, Illinois through the state and on to Corsicana, Texas.

CAW repeated its request of ExxonMobil for a remote operator on the valve, to which the company said it would review. The utility is keeping a close eye on the pipeline work since a 13-mile section runs through the Lake Maumelle Watershed. Inspection of the section after the Mayflower spill identified some areas of concern ExxonMobil says would need validated in another look via field digs. ExxonMobil says historically about one-third will need repair.

While ExxonMobil is not yet moving to restart the pipeline in Arkansas, it is moving forward with the restart of the Texas section of the pipeline which runs from Corsicana to Nederland. Until 2006, that segment operated independently from the rest of the pipeline. The oil company says the Texas segment will be restarted at a pressure not to exceed 80 percent of its actual operating pressure at the time of the failure in Arkansas.

ExxonMobil says a hydrotest of the Arkansas section of the pipeline is under consideration before any restart.

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