Exxon faces $2.7 million fine for Arkansas pipeline spill

Posted Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Irving-based Exxon Mobil faces $2.7 million in proposed fines from a federal regulator for its March 29 pipeline spill in Arkansas.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said Wednesday that it found nine probable violations of safety rules in the break in the Pegasus pipeline. The 95,000-barrel-a-day pipeline has been shut since spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil in Mayflower, Ark.

In August, the administration said the rupture appeared to arise from a manufacturing defect in the pipe, made nearly 70 years ago using a since-discontinued process.

“Specifically, the operator failed to include the susceptibility of its Youngstown, pre-1970 … pipe seam to failures,” the administration said in a letter to Exxon.

Exxon said it was disappointed by the decision but is cooperating with the investigation. It said it was still reviewing the government’s notice and had not determined its course of action.

“However, it does appear that PHMSA’s analysis is flawed and the agency has made some fundamental errors,” it said in a statement.

Exxon has 30 days to contest the allegations.

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay

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