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California Pipeline Breach Causes Another Major Shell Oil Spill

A Shell pipeline that ruptured underground near Tracy, Calif., May 20 is the same pipeline that ruptured in the same general area eight months ago, company officials confirmed. Both spills released an estimated 20,000 gallons of crude oil or more. The pipeline breach occurred in a two-foot diameter pipeline that runs about 200 miles from Martinez, Calif., northeast of Berkeley to Coalinga, southwest of Fresno. The spill was first reported about 3 a.m. Friday after Shell detected a loss of pipeline pressure. A preliminary test found a split of approximately 18 to 20 inches in length in the pipeline near Interstate 580 ... Read More

Shell Undersea Pipeline Spills 90,000 Gallons of crude oil In Gulf of Mexico

A Shell oil company pipeline spilled about 90,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, May 12, prompting a cleanup response centered on an area of the Gulf about 165 miles southwest of New Orleans and 97 miles south of Port Fourchon. Shell reported that it identified a subsea wellhead flow line near its Brutus tension-leg platform as the source of the leak. The company said the damaged part of the pipeline has been isolated and production at the Brutus platform suspended. Nearby wells connected to the Brutus platform have also been shut down for now, Shell ... Read More

Major oil spills in Arkansas, Texas, Utah receive little notice in the public eye

Have oil spills become so common in the U.S. that they are no longer considered news? The same week that ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured, spewing thousands of barrels of sticky bitumen sludge all over an Arkansas town, two other oil spills categorized as “major” by federal standards occurred in the U.S. Yet the three spills have received very little attention by national news outlets. On Good Friday, the same day that the ExxonMobil spill erupted underneath a suburban development in Mayflower, Arkansas, Shell Pipeline, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, shut down its West Columbia, Texas, pipeline when federal ... Read More

Serious safety violations found aboard Shell Arctic oil rig

Numerous safety violations found aboard one of the Shell Corporation’s Arctic drilling rigs has raised some more red flags about oil drilling in the icy, remote northern seas where cleaning up an oil spill like the one that plagued the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 would be almost impossible. Responding to a request from Democratic staff on the House Natural Resources Committee, the U.S. Coast Guard inspected Shell’s Noble Discoverer drilling rig, a 514-foot-long log carrier that was built in 1966 and converted into a drilling rig 10 years later. What inspectors found did nothing to reassure regulators about Shell’s ... Read More

Feds using remote vehicle to search for source of new Gulf oil slick

The bad news is yet another stray oil slick has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. The good news is that the federal government appears to be making a real attempt to find the source of the stray oil, which as of Wednesday had formed a slick covering an area about a mile wide and 10 miles long. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) says it has deployed a remote underwater vehicle to the Gulf in an effort to find where the oil is coming from. ... Read More

Natural gas drilling turns rural state into smog factory

If you had to guess where the most polluted air in the United States could be found, you might guess Los Angeles or maybe New York. How about Detroit? Atlanta? If you picked any of the country’s large, industrial, traffic-congested cities, you’d have to guess again. But would you ever guess Wyoming – the least populated state in the country – would have the worst air quality? A booming natural gas industry in the Cowboy State has left towns in the once-pristine Green River Basin with toxic smog that has exceeded the levels of ozone in America’s largest cities on their ... Read More