Oil spill generic

Corrosion possible cause of US oil spill


LOS ANGELES, June 4, 2015 – A federal report that was released on Wednesday posits severe corrosion as the cause of a May 19 oil spill in California with an estimated 382,000 litres of crude running into the Santa Barbara coast.

The federal regulator Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said that corroded portion of the pipeline had been reduced to 1/16 of an inch with 82-percent of the metal pipe wall corroded. The federal agency also reported a 6-inch hole close to the bottom of the pipe.


Previous investigations conducted by the operator of the pipeline Plains All Americans Pipeline revealed that the pipeline had only lost 45-percent of the wall thickness.

“Plains is committed to working with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to understand the differences between these preliminary findings, to determine why the corrosion developed and to determine the cause of the incident,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The company has halted operations of where the break occurred indefinitely.