OVER 700 bbl of oil has spilled from a ruptured underground pipeline into a canyon ravine near Ventura in California, US; the spill has not, however, reached the nearby beaches.
The leak was discovered by a local resident who contacted the authorities after hearing and smelling the flowing crude. Ventura City fire authorities say the oil spilled up to 410 m away from the pipeline, but has now been contained. Pipeline operator Crimson Pipeline said the line has been shut down.
Fire officials built a dam of dirt to keep the oil from moving any farther. They also say there are no evacuations and other than the smell, there are no direct impacts from the vapours.
Kendall Klingler, spokesperson for Crimson, said: “The initial concern was that there was a chance that it could have made its way further, but the spill was contained very early on and a lot of damage has been mitigated because of that.”
Emergency crews are assessing other areas the oil may be flowing to, and are monitoring air quality.
The spill was Crimson’s 11th since 2006, with previous releases totalling close to 9,000 bbl of crude and causing US$5.9m in property damage, according to accident reports submitted by the company to regulators and reviewed by The AP.
The company says its California network spans over 1,600 km and moves approximately 200,000 bbl/d.
The authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the spill.
Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.