The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

January 3, 2013

Floods blamed for 16 crude oil pipeline spills

(Continued)

BILLINGS, Mont. —

An industry representative cautioned against imposing stringent new regulations. Such rules could force companies to divert money from other safety initiatives, such as reducing accidents caused by corrosion or excavation damage, said John Stoody, of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

The report showed riverbed scouring around pipelines caused by flooding "is a real but rare occurrence," Stoody said.

"It's our hope the focus remains on efforts that will provide the most public safety and protection for the environment," he said, adding that companies spent at least $1.1 billion on evaluations, inspections and maintenance geared toward safety in 2011.

In recent years, some pipeline companies have voluntarily buried their lines deeper than federal rules require. Using a technique called horizontal directional drilling, pipelines can be installed dozens of feet beneath riverbeds, minimizing the chances they could be exposed to damaging floodwaters and debris.

The technique can cost millions of dollars for a single water crossing.

Text Only
National and world
Featured Ads