ExxonMobile restarted the southern segment of its Pegasus pipeline, which runs from Texas to Illinois. The pipeline was shut down in March 2013 after a rupture caused about 210,000 gallons of crude oil to spill in Arkansas. The section between Corsicana and Nederland resumed operation in July 2014 amidst some concerns from Texas residents. According to The Texas Tribune, it is running at reduced pressure, with extensive safety and accident prevention testing underway. The pipeline is 66-years-old.
Residents in Gun Barrel City in particular voiced worries, as the pipeline runs along the nearby Cedar Creek Reservoir, which supplies the town with water.
"We are concerned," said Linda Rankin, president of Gun Barrel City's Economic Development Corporation. "Any time something affects one of the lakes, it affects so many other areas of our lives."
State Representative Lance Gooden pushed for the Pegasus to remain turned off until ExxonMobile provided details inof their testing, pipeline safety training and operation resumption plan, according to the news source. He stated that all of his constituents are very concerned about the pipeline resuming operations.
Proper safety planning and testing is an essential part of oil industry workflow at all stages. The pipeline administration is considering fining ExxonMobile for its role in the 2013 rupture, as the company admitted to several testing and safety violations, as well as a failure to perform a proper pipeline integrity analysis.
Investing in enhanced safety training, such as an accident prevention program, can help oil and gas companies to minimize risks, prevent spills of any nature and operate safely and reliably for the communities near their drilling, pipeline and other operational sites.