March 31 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline oil spill in Arkansas that loosed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude and forced the evacuation of 22 homes.
Exxon’s Pegagus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower.
The company did not have an estimate for the restarting of the pipeline, which was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak. The spill comes as environmentalists are pressing the State Department to reject plan to build the 800,000 bpd Keystone pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast.
Exxon said that by 3 a.m. Saturday there was no additional oil spilling from the pipeline. Images from local media showed crude oil snaking along the road in a neighborhood.
“Cleanup efforts are progressing 24 hours a day,” said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers, who added the oil had not leaked into nearby Lake Conway.
“We were very fortunate that the local responders made sure the oil did not enter the water.”