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Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:23 PM

Largest U.S. Gas Spill in 20 Years - 1.2 Million Gallons

https://weather.com/news/news/2021-03-08-north-carolina-gasoline-spill-colonial-pipeline-oehler-nature-preserve

It happened at a cracked pipeline in North Carolina. Cancer-causing chemicals, like benzene, have been found in groundwater near the site.

Two ATV riders found the spill on Aug. 14 in the Oehler Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina. The gasoline was leaking from a pipeline that runs from Texas through the Southeast and north to New Jersey. Officials don't know how long the pipe was cracked before the ATV riders found the spill.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Largest U.S. Gas Spill in 20 Years - 1.2 Million Gallons (Original post)
Quemado Mar 2021 OP
lagomorph777 Mar 2021 #1
2naSalit Mar 2021 #2
MiHale Mar 2021 #3
ProfessorGAC Mar 2021 #8
MiHale Mar 2021 #11
Ferrets are Cool Mar 2021 #12
bluestarone Mar 2021 #4
SunSeeker Mar 2021 #5
ProfessorGAC Mar 2021 #10
Bayard Mar 2021 #6
magicarpet Mar 2021 #7
nuxvomica Mar 2021 #9
marble falls Mar 2021 #13
nuxvomica Mar 2021 #14
ProfessorGAC Mar 2021 #15
nuxvomica Mar 2021 #16
pansypoo53219 Mar 2021 #17
uponit7771 Mar 2021 #18

Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:24 PM

1. Oh, no!

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:30 PM

2. Not surprised.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:34 PM

3. It was cracked long enuf to get gas prices up to 4 bucks a gallon...

Plus it was a little cold in Texas, summer blend is coming, next a refinery will probably have some unexplained problem.
E.V.ís are too close, gotta milk the cow while the udder has a little left.

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Response to MiHale (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:54 PM

8. Texas Refineries Were Already Down

That's why commodity speculators already drove up prices 40Ę in a month.
They weren't prepped for the cold & the electrical issues shut several down.
For the first time in 20+ years gas was being trucked INTO Texas for a while.
And, when refineries go down, it can take 3-4 weeks to get back up to normal rates of production.
We're experiencing a hangover from Texas' drunken deregulation binge.
If this is on 1.02 million gallons, that shouldn't drastically affect pump price there. It's barely 1% of daily demand.

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Response to MiHale (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 05:24 PM

11. Point was...didn't make it clear enough...

Any reason to be able to raise prices is ok with them. Somebody could sneeze in a refinery and gas prices go up.
My S.I.L. Is in the energy business in Texas, Iíve heard all the popular bull crap Iím just being reactive.

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Response to MiHale (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 06:01 PM

12. This

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:37 PM

4. My first thought here is (1.2 million gal.)

Will turn out to be 10.2 million gallons!!!

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:42 PM

5. Yup. It's ALWAYS an underestimate, and intentionally so.

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 05:00 PM

10. While I Understand Your Cynicism...

...there are custody transfers a few spots along those pipelines.
Using VERY accurate & precise meters, the supplier knows how much they put through the pipe and the recipients know exactly what they took.
Given EDI (electronic data interchange) an ERP program like SAP would catch it in a day, 2 at most. After all, somebody is losing money. In this case, using your numbers, were talking about $17-18 million!
If it was a sudden gusher, the pressure drop from measurement point to measurement point would alarm to a leak, or even interlock the booster pumps to off.
I'm going to say that, in this case, the number won't end up an order of magnitude higher than currently reported.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:46 PM

6. "biggest refined petroleum spill in the U.S. since 2000"

And it wasn't found until August. If those 2 kids hadn't found it, sounds like it would still be going on. Over a million gallons, in a nature preserve.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:50 PM

7. Sound like they were lucky it did not explode when they got close with the running,...

... engines of their ATVs.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:57 PM

9. You'd think they would've been alerted to pressure changes in a control room somewhere

Hopefully they did and this wasn't leaking for very long.

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Response to nuxvomica (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 06:13 PM

13. Leaked long enough to poison water and lose 4,800,000 quarts of gasoline. Control room video ...

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Response to marble falls (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 06:44 PM

14. Maybe they noticed a pressure drop so they increased the pressure

Instead of figuring there might be a leak.

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Response to nuxvomica (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 07:09 PM

15. Pumps Are Interlocked

They don't measure pressure alone they measure delta P, or the difference in pressure between booster stations.
For gasoline, with constant line size the delta is very easy to calculate for any given flow. And the transducers are accurate to within 0.01 psig.
Turning up the pressure at output doesn't change the excessive delta P. 10psig of loss beyond calculated is that if we go from 300-200 (target 90 delta P due to frictional loss) it's the same as going from 320-220.
The pumps would still interlock.
I'm thinking this was a small leak that lasted a while, otherwise the EDI financial transactions would have caught a sudden big inventory loss. Losses accumulating to $2+ million over a month will get caught at close of monthly book.
$2+ million in a day gets flagged by the software immediately.
That's why I'm thinking a small leak.
No big change in daily receipts, no big delta P issues.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 07:15 PM

16. Interesting

Thanks for the explanation.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 09:42 PM

17. gee, another pipeline.

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 10:56 PM

18. right !? and 1.2 million gallons went not noticed !!!

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