Aging Pipeline Dangers: Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, and Explosions are Just a Few Dangers
Oil has become a vital cog in the Texas economy, as well as the economies of the entire country and even the world. With the current oil and gas boom that’s occurring in Texas and elsewhere comes an increased dependence on pipelines to move oil and gas efficiently. That fact, combined with a housing boom, means a number of aging pipelines now run very close to, and sometimes through, residential communities. That means an increased risk of oil spills. These spills, and even their cleanup, can cause illness, injuries and death.
On March 31, a small section of an Exxon Mobil pipeline burst just outside an upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Arkansas. Witnesses have reported seeing rivers of oil rolling down their front streets, and the spill resulted in the evacuation of the entire community. A number of families have been away from their homes and living in hotels since then, and have not been able to return to their community. And they have no idea in what condition they’ll find their homes and property when they are finally allowed to return. Despite all of this, ExxonMobil officials continue to refer to the spill as “relatively small.”
To date, it’s unclear what exactly caused the oil to flow out of the pipe, but Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which runs 858 miles from Illinois to Texas, is now 65 years old. Several years back, it was adapted to increase its capacity by 50 percent. Arkansas state officials are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident. They plan to examine all aspects of the situation, especially with regard to inspection and maintenance records, despite the fact that ExxonMobil company officials insist that all inspections were up to date.
As the oil boom continues and oil companies increase their usage of pipelines to pump oil long distances, many companies may try to cut costs by putting inspections and maintenance of the pipelines on the back burner. Those who own homes near an oil pipeline should keep an eye out, and those who live near one that has sprung a leak should contact the experienced Texas Pipeline Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm, who can continue to monitor the situation and protect your rights. If you or a loved one has been injured by activities surrounding oil pipelines, Hill Law Firm today.