ExxonMobil Releases Cause of Mayflower Oil Spill

Exxon says the manufacturer of the Pegasus Pipeline is to blame for the spill.
MAYFLOWER, AR -- ExxonMobil has released the cause of the oil spill in Mayflower earlier this year.

Exxon says the manufacturer of the Pegasus Pipeline is to blame for the spill.

A lab report identifies the cause as "original manufacturing defects" in the pipeline, which was first installed more than six decades ago.

The manufacturer, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company from Ohio, is no longer in business.

Several thousand barrels of oil spilled into the Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower on March 29.

The cleanup efforts continue in that area.

Exxon issued the following statement Wednesday evening:

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (EMPCo) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have received the results of an independent assessment conducted by Hurst Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Inc. on the Pegasus Pipeline segment that failed on March 29, 2013. We are currently in the process of reviewing and analyzing the data. 

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. 

Additional contributing factors include atypical pipe properties, such as extremely low impact toughness and elongation properties across the ERW seam. 

There are no findings that indicate internal or external corrosion contributed to the failure.

While we now know the root cause of the failure, 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.
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