Corrosion is thought to be the reason behind a pipeline spill in northwest Oklahoma last Friday, officials said.
After the spill ended up discovered, a Houston-based pipeline company continued cleanup at the site of a nearly 19,000 gallon oil spill that threatened a local water supply over the weekend.
Crews from Plains All American Pipeline were at the site in rural Loyal, about 60 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The 450-barrel leak ended up reported last Friday, but it’s unclear when it started.
About 70 acres of farmland suffered from the leak and the spill reached a small creek at one point, said Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner. The leak, however, ended up contained before it flowed into a second creek that flows into the Cimarron River about 16 miles away.
The state’s Department of Environmental Quality also sent a specialist to the site who confirmed there was no contamination in the second creek, said agency spokeswoman Erin Hatfield. A regional spokesman for the EPA didn’t return a message seeking comment.
A statement issued by the company Tuesday said the oil ended up contained to farmland and part of an unpaved county road and said it continues to investigate the cause of the leak. Skinner said officials believe corrosion caused a hole in the line.
“Our current priorities are to ensure the safety of all involved and limit the environmental impact of the release,” the company said.
Skinner said booms are already in place to hold back any potentially heavy rainfall.
The corporation commission and the EPA will test the water in the nearby creek for its salt content — saltwater is found in barrels of crude — and must ensure the site is remediated before they sign off on the cleanup, Skinner said.
“They have to bring the site back to beneficial use, which in this case is farmland, and it’s farmland that’s growing a crop,” he said.