Texas Pipeline Spills Over 50K Gallons of Crude Oil

By Yessenia Funes Jul 14, 2017

In Texas, a pipeline spilled 1,200 barrels of crude oil yesterday (July 13). That’s more than 50,000 gallons.

The Longhorn Pipeline, operated by Magellan Midstream Partners, ruptured about four miles southwest of Bastrop—a town that is nearly half made up of people of color. Nearly 37 percent are Latinx; about 8 percent are Black. Residents from 15 nearby homes were evacuated following the spill, but they’ve been allowed to return home. 

The incident occurred after a contractor hit a fitting during maintenance, causing oil to release. The company immediately shut down the pipeline, and it remains off during clean up. Magellan expects the pipeline to “resume normal operations” next week, according to its website. The spill led to no injuries.

From 1997 to 2016,  the state has seen eight serious crude oil pipeline incidents, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Serious incidents involve a fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization. In the past 20 years, these events have led to one death and 14 injuries. The total barrels spilled? More than 25,000.

Significant incidents, on the other hand, indicate a fatality or injury or $50,000+ in costs (measured in 1984 dollars, so that translates to nearly $120,000 today) or result in a fire or explosion. From 1997 to last year, Texas has had 390 significant crude oil pipeline incidents that have added up to nearly $150 million in costs (in current-year dollars).

When examining all reported incidents, numbers are 1,132 crude oil pipeline incidents between 1997 and 2016.