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Significant oil spill follows North Dakota pipeline breach

14 October 2013

Over 20,600 barrels of oil has spilled from a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in Tioga, North Dakota, in one of the worst onshore oil spills in recent US history. Though the spill occurred on September 29, the US National Response Center – tasked with responding to chemical and oil spills – did not make the report available until October 8 due to the ongoing government shutdown, Reuters said.

At more than 20,600 barrels – equivalent to 3.3 million litres - the spill was bigger than the April 2013 ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline spill, which spewed 5,000-7,000 barrels of tar sands into a residential neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas.
The North Dakota Department of Health Division of Water Quality says no water, surface water or ground water was impacted, and that Tesoro has responded quickly, putting in place a $4 million plus operation to remediate the site. On October 12, only 1,285 barrels had been removed - the oil is spread out over 7.3 acres of farmland.
Tesoro Logistics Chairman and CEO Greg Goff said: “Protection and care of the environment are fundamental to our core values, and we deeply regret any impact to the landowner. We will continue to work tirelessly to fully remediate the release area.”
The six-inch pipeline carries fracked oil from the Bakken Shale formation to the Stampede, ND, rail facility. From Stampede, Canadian Pacific’s freight trains take the oil to an Albany, NY, holding facility located along the Hudson River.
Albany’s holding facility received its first Canadian Pacific shipment from the Bakken Shale in December 2011, according to Bloomberg, with 1.4 million barrels of storage capacity. The facility receives 149,000-157,000 barrels of Bakken crude per day from Canadian Pacific.
The crude is then loaded onto barges to be shipped down the Hudson River to refineries along the East Coast.

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