Exxon Mobil Corp. is incessantly continuing its attempts to clean up mess caused by the Arkansas oil spill. Another oil spill adds to concerns over the safety of pipeline systems and their conservation. But the Arkansas oil spill has also led to the beginning of a debate on the pipeline sector and the safety in general, not to mention the prospects of the Keystone XL project as well.
Big mess made by Arkansas oil spill
Even though the leak started few days ago on the 29th of March, the situation has not been brought under control. Arkansas oil spill occurred as the Pegasus pipeline, which runs more than 1,500 kilometers, fissured in an inhabited area next to the town of Mayflower. Despite the fact that the damage had taken place few days ago, Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, did not give any information when the failure would be fixed. Certainly, the oil spill in the area had raised many questions as Mayflower is almost ringed by plants which might generate almost 1.5 million barrels a day.
While Exxon Mobil Corp. did not wanted to comment on a possible day of fixing the damage, it did restate on the 1st of Monday that it had already collected outstanding 12,000 barrels of oil and water. Cleaning up the Arkansas oil spill however is not being conducted at the satisfactory rate as more than 20 homes, which are located closest to the leak, remained evacuated and it was not confirmed when the families would be able to return. Yet, it is not surprising as the Arkansas oil spill was typecast as major by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Not only the people, who were forced to evacuate, and the environment, including ducks, have suffered from the Arkansas oil spill as the leak will certainly reduce significantly stream of crude from Canada and the Midwest. The oil giant did not give any details on necessary repairs as the company is still waiting for indispensable government approvals so that more advanced operations can be started.
Concerns over Arkansas oil spill
Naturally, the Arkansas oil spill has an immense impact on the area where the leak has occurred. Indeed, Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to face many questions regarding the safety of the inhabitants of the area. But what is also important is the fact that the Arkansas oil spill has already fueled a debate over the environmental risks posed by usage of old pipelines to transit heavy crude such as tar sands. Indeed, water resources were also at risk as it was underlined by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Many non-government organizations enumerate the weak points of oil sands, including the fact that they are more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil, thereby posing a great threat to the environment and health of people. Interestingly, the aforementioned assertion contradicts the findings of Penspen indicating that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than any other heavy crude, sic!
Apart from arising environmental concerns over the Arkansas oil spill, economists highlight its economic consequences as the leak will probably lead to increases in prices for physical crude.
In addition, the Arkansas oil spill might also indirectly impact a decision regarding the Keystone XL project. Adversaries of the projects underline that the ongoing leak shows why US President Barack Obama should not agree on Keystone which is designed to transport more corrosive fuels between the US and Canada.
Without a doubt, the debate over the Arkansas oil spill will not end fast as it will be fueled by actions of Exxon Mobil Corp., cleaning up the oil spill and new findings regarding the leak.