06 April 2013 – The pipeline that ruptured and spewed oil into a residential neighbourhood in Arkansas spilt about 5000 barrels, US supermajor ExxonMobil said in its first approximation of the volume of the leak.
“The estimated spill volume has been updated to approximately 5000 barrels,” the company said in a statement late Friday. “A final estimated release volume will be provided once the line has been repaired and refilled.”
ExxonMobil had previously said it had recovered 12,000 barrels of “water and oil” from the area around a housing development in Mayflower, Arkansas. The company says it has prepared a response for 10,000 barrels of oil “to ensure adequate resources are in place”.
At least fourteen ducks have been killed since the Pegasus pipeline burst a week ago, along with two turtles and a nutria. Other injured wildlife continue to be treated. There have been no other injuries reported.
A response team on Friday continued to clean heavy oil from the yards, streets and suburban forest surrounding Mayflower.
“Work will continue as weather permits to enable residents to return as quickly as possible to 22 homes evacuated,” ExxonMobil said.
Eighteen vacuum trucks and 59 storage tanks were on site.
The company said it has submitted an excavation and removal plan for the broken portion of the pipeline to the US Department of Transportation for review.
It has said it plans to respond to a corrective action order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
The cause of the spill remains under investigation.
*Luke Johnson, Upstreamonline