Repost from KSBW News, Santa Barbara CA
Exxon seeks to use trucks to haul oil after pipeline breakAssociated Press, Jun 05, 2015 1:06 PM PDT
An oil company wants to use tanker trucks to haul oil through Santa Barbara County while a pipeline that spilled crude into the Pacific Ocean last month is out of commission.
Exxon Mobil officials have told county officials they want to use a fleet of 5,000-gallon tankers for the job, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Kevin Drude, head of the county’s energy division, said the company proposes to have trucks use Highway 101 daily, around the clock at a rate of eight trucks an hour to get the oil moving to refineries.
Exxon Mobil normally moves crude from three offshore platforms through more than 10 miles of pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline.
The movement has been stopped since the pipe ruptured on May 19 and released up to 101,000 gallons west of Santa Barbara. Thousands of gallons flowed down a culvert under Highway 101 and into the ocean at Refugio State Beach.
The trucking proposal is seen as risky by environmentalists.
“We don’t want another disaster,” said Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center.
Glenn Russell, county planning and development director, said his staff will review the proposal and make a decision by Monday. He said he expects a similar request from another oil company, Freeport-McMoRan, which has also been affected by the pipeline shutdown.
Cleanup and investigations into corrosion that resulted in the failure of the pipe have been underway since the spill and there’s no timetable for putting the pipeline back in service.
Exxon Mobil would use the trucks until the pipeline is operational again, said company spokesman Richard Keil.
“We need to move our product by truck to serve the energy needs of Californians and the demands of the refineries we supply,” he said.
Exxon reduced oil production from 30,000 to 8,500 barrels a day and is storing the crude in tanks at Las Flores Canyon near the coast highway.
Russell said the company now has two weeks’ worth of storage space left.