Friday, October 11, 2013

Oil Patch Dispatch: wheat farmer — not TX Pipeline company — discovered leak of 865,200 gallons of Bakken crude near Tioga, ND

Amy Dalrymple interviewed the North Dakota farmer who discovered that more than 7 acres of his land were soaked with pipeline oil. Pollution of underground water, officials think, was prevented by a layer of clay, a barrier Nebraska landowners in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline do not have.
     The complete oil spill story, from Dalrymple and Mike Nowatzi was published here.
     Steve Jensen, who lives in an area he describes as “spider webbed” with underground pipelines, said he began smelling oil a few days before he noticed the spill....
     ...Jensen questions why Tesoro didn’t detect that more than 20,000 barrels had leaked and would like to see better monitoring systems put in place.
     Tina Barbee, a Tesoro Logistics spokeswoman, said pipelines are monitored by a remote pipeline control center that monitors pressure and pumps. When asked if the monitoring center would have detected a leak, Barbee said that will be part of the company’s investigation.
     Tesoro Logistics also flies over pipelines to monitor them, Barbee said. She said she did not know the most recent aerial inspection of this pipeline.
     “It is consistently monitored, on average, weekly,” Barbee said.
     Jensen, who is a pilot, said the spill likely would have been visible from the air.

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