Pipeline Defects Account For 12 Test Failures

Aug 8, 2013

Manufacturing defects accounting for the Mayflower pipeline rupture have also been named the cause of 12 seam failures that occurred during pressure tests prior to the pipeline's 2006 re-opening, reports show.

The Pegasus pipeline, constructed in 1948, was closed in 2002 to undergo construction for flow reversal. But according to recent documents issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), seam ruptures were spotted in several states during hydrotesting that took place before the pipeline's 2006 re-opening.

"I've asked for an in-depth technical briefing on the testing and we're trying to get that scheduled," said U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) "But Exxon and PHMSA need to answer these questions as we need to continue our investigation and get a better picture of the pipeline's history and the best way to move forward."

Griffin, who previous received raw data from inspections conducted by Exxon-Mobil, has combined  efforts with officials at Central Arkansas Water and other stakeholders to ensure the pipeline is moved outside the Lake Maumelle Watershed.

"The more we learn, the more questions are raised," Griffin said. "We're demanding answers and we're getting some and we still need to get others, so this is an ongoing investigation and we'll just continue."

While none were located in Mayflower, two of the 12 seam failures were seen in Glenwood, a small city in Pike and Montgomery counties.

Exxon-Mobil spokesman Aaron Stryk declined to comment.