Entire Pegasus Pipeline to be inspected before restart

(Log Cabin Democrat) - The federal government will investigate all of the Pegasus Pipeline an ExxonMobil line that has leaked oil twice in the past few weeks, a federal spokeswoman said.

"We are looking at the entire Pegasus line," said Patricia Klinger, a spokeswoman for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in email Thursday.

On Wednesday, the pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas on March 29 and dumped about 5,000 barrels of thick, black crude into a Mayflower community sprang another leak in Ripley County, Missouri.

"Although the pipeline was not in service, it leaked crude oil that remained in other sections of the pipe following the March failure," Klinger wrote.

The spill in Missouri is small, officials said. Exxon spokesman Michael Kontos said the leak in Missouri is not related to the one in Arkansas.

Before the line restarts, the entire length of the line about 850 miles will be inspected, Kontos said. Pegasus was inspected in 2006 and 2010, as required by PHMSA. After the investigation is finished, Exxon will develop a plan for restarting the line, Kontos said.

"We will not restart the pipeline until both the relevant government authorities and we are convinced it is safe to do so," Kontos said.

Click here for more on this story from the Log Cabin Democrat.Click here for our original coverage of the Missouri spill.Click here for KATV's continuing coverage on the spill in Mayflower.