Company responsible for O.C. oil spill gets permission to repair pipeline
An oil company that took the blame for a major Louisiana spill of 400,000 gallons of oil under the control of the state’s oil and gas regulator has been given permission to repair a pipeline from the oil spill site to the refinery.
Fluid and steam is rising from the damaged section of the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline in the coastal community of Grand Isle, about 70 miles north of New Orleans.
The company, Methyl Petroleum, which is on the list of companies that have been blamed for the oil spill, was the only company to apply for the state’s Section 404 authority, which authorizes “critical infrastructure” fixes in the aftermath of accidents, like the oil spill, where no other responsible party exists, according to the agency.
The company said in an email that it has applied for and is awaiting permission to repair the damaged section of the pipeline that runs underneath the Mississippi River near Grand Isle. The line was built in 1961 and has a total of 407 miles, with a pressure capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil.
“Methyl Petroleum will seek the necessary permits before the repairs can begin,” Methyl Petroleum spokesperson Jim White said in the email.
The company said it received “confirmation from the Governor’s Office that the necessary paperwork is complete and a determination has been made that the pipeline is in the public’s interest to begin repairs.”
The company did not say why it took so long to apply for the Section 404 authority.
The company’s website says the company owns seven refineries, including three in Louisiana.
A Methyl Petroleum spokesman said the company was trying to identify an area to repair as soon as possible and hoped that the repair would be completed by mid-summer. The company has said it has been forced to hire subcontractors for its work and has been unable to reach an agreement to have the work done on schedule.
The state has begun collecting samples of the oil from the area where the pipeline is hit by the leak and is working with Methyl Petroleum on the matter, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office said in a statement. Oil from the spill site is being held in