Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Early Pipeline Finding Names Corrosion

Corrosion on the exterior of the pipe and a six-inch hole near the bottom of it were observed by inspectors at the site, the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Information (PHMSA) office disclosed in an amendment to its Corrective Action Order (CAO) which shut down the pipeline. The amendment was summarized by Plains All American Pipeline, the operator of the ruptured pipeline at Refugio, at its website today.

What PHMSA had called a pipeline “failure” is now being called a “rupture” with the new information, according to Plains, but a metallurgical analysis is among the tests still ongoing to determine the cause of the pipeline break. The amendment added that the cathodic protection, which is meant to control corrosion, on the pipe was adequate, and that the corrosion seen “would not be expected.” A recent inline inspection, the website explained, also found the wall of the pipeline was thicker than what a third-party metallurgist observed recently at the pipe breakage point.

Read more at the Santa Barbara Independent

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