"Exxon's Secrecy Over Ruptured Pipeline Could Mask National Dangers"

"Reports that would reveal whether Exxon properly maintained its Pegasus pipeline are being kept from the public. The data has national ramifications."

"The 1940s-era construction process that ExxonMobil said caused an oil pipe to rupture in Arkansas earlier this year is a common and well-documented problem the pipeline industry has battled for decades—and one the industry believes can be detected and controlled with appropriate vigilance.

"With proper inspection and maintenance, these catastrophic events can be prevented," said Mohammad Najafi, a pipeline construction expert and engineering professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. "As pipelines exceed their design lives, they need more maintenance and a proper asset management strategy to prevent or minimize these ruptures."

That leaves the public and regulators with two critical questions: Did Exxon manage and test its broken Pegasus pipeline according to established guidelines? And, if it did, is the Arkansas accident a warning that other pipelines might be at risk?"

Elizabeth Douglass and David Hasemyer report for InsideClimate News July 16, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Cleanup of 2006 ND Saltwater Spill Still Ongoing" (AP)

"Pipelines, Pulitzers and Independent Online Journalism" (Dot Earth/NYT)

"API Launches Campaign To Support Keystone XL Pipeline" (Pipelines International)

"Americans Support the Keystone XL Pipeline by Wide Margin" (National Journal)

"Another Tar Sands Pipeline in Midwest Seeks Fast Track" (AP)

"State Regulators Approve Need for Pipeline Upgrade" (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

"Pipeline Safety Tracker" (ProPublica)

Source: InsideClimate News, 07/18/2013