Feds allow Tesoro to restart ND pipeline

Nov 1, 2013, 4:41 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Tesoro Corp. on Friday restarted a North Dakota crude oil pipeline that ruptured and spilled more than 20,000 barrels of oil in a North Dakota wheat field.

The San Antonio-based company shut down the 35-mile long underground pipeline on Sept. 29, after a farmer discovered oil seeping from the ground in his wheat field near Tioga, in the northwest corner of the state.

Tesoro said it had received and accepted a safety order from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that sets conditions to restart the pipeline.

Oil began coursing through the pipeline Friday morning, Tesoro spokeswoman Elizabeth Watters said, minutes after the company issued a statement that it accepted the federal agency’s safety plan, which requires such things as frequent aerial and ground inspections and additional leak detection equipment.

The federal agency, which oversees pipelines throughout the country, did not immediately return telephone calls from The Associated Press on Friday.

Federal regulators have said a preliminary investigation shows a possible lightning strike might have caused the rupture in the 6-inch-diameter steel pipeline that runs from Tioga to a rail facility outside of Columbus, near the Canadian border.

Tesoro said in a statement that the damaged portion of the pipeline was removed and sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. Tesoro has said the hole in the 20-year-old pipeline was a quarter-inch in diameter.

“While final results are pending, the preliminary report indicates that the likely cause of the small diameter hole in the pipeline was from electrical discharge,” the company’s statement issued Friday said. “The source of the electrical current remains under investigation. According to the initial lab report, there were no signs of corrosion or other defects at the failure location.”

The company said the entire will have additional monitoring “to detect patterns that might indicate a leak.”

The North Dakota Health Department was told about the spill on Sept. 29. Although the state initially thought just 750 barrels of oil was involved, it turned out to be one of the largest spills in North Dakota history _ an estimated 20,600 barrels covering 7.3 acres of land, or about the size of seven football fields. Regulators said the spill caused no damage to water or wildlife.

Tesoro estimated it would cost $4 million to clean up the spill. The company said it has cleaned up about 4,500 barrels of oil so far.


Follow James MacPherson on Twitter at

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

A hiring sign is displayed outside of a restaurant in Arlington Heights, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 202...
Associated Press

Job market still hot, December openings rise to 11 million

U.S. job openings rose to 11 million in December, delivering a setback to the Federal Reserve's effort to cool a hot job market.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...
Associated Press

Is pumping Mississippi River water to the west a solution or dream?

Amid a major drought in the Western U.S., a proposed solution comes up repeatedly: large-scale river diversions.
1 day ago
US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) greets friends and family of Tyre Nichols during his funeral se...
Associated Press

Emotional calls for police reform at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered an impassioned speech calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
1 day ago
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at...
Associated Press

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point but says inflation is easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March. And the Fed signaled that even though inflation is easing, it remains high enough to require further rate hikes. At the same time, Chair Jerome Powell said at a […]
1 day ago
The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Jus...
Kevin Stone

Arizona leaders call out California on Colorado River water negotiations

Arizona politicians are calling for more cooperation from California in negotiations over Colorado River water supply distribution.
1 day ago
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, left, wants to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayor...

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona aims to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona is pursuing articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of border security.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Feds allow Tesoro to restart ND pipeline