10 Years After The Worst Oil Spill In US History

Oil and gas and water and wastewater sectors are the most prone to corrosion-related issues across the world. In the oil and gas industry, Corrosion Control Company can provide the necessary corrosion protection to their pipelines to lessen the economic impact of damages. The cost of corrosion mitigation may be high but it is relatively less expensive than the replacement with new ones.

One of the worst oil spills in US history happened 10 years ago on the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge Line 6B was carrying diluted bitumen from Canada’s tar sands. When the pipeline split open, oil gushed into the Kalamazoo River polluting almost 40 miles of water. Enbridge estimated more than 840,000 gallons of oil but according to EPA, the total amount was more than 1 million gallons.

Federal investigation reports revealed that the operators assumed that it was a pressure problem and an issue called column separation. The pipeline was shut down twice and then restarted. However, it resulted into massive amounts of oil spilling from the ruptured pipeline. It took years to clean up and restore the river’s health.

The National Transportation Safety Bureau said that the pipeline ruptured due to corrosion and cracking. It was found that Enbridge was aware of the crack-like defects but did nothing to fix them. As a result of the spill, Enbridge invested more than $8 million on maintenance, inspection, and leak detection across the crude oil pipeline system. Procedures were revised and additional staff was hired to the control center.

Carl Weimer, head of watchdog group Pipeline Safety Trust said that nothing has changed since the last decade. Michigan has not stepped up or taken regulatory authority over the pipelines that cross state lines. The way things are done changes only after a tragedy happens. Pipelines must be inspected in the same way authorities inspect paperwork.

Management and control of corrosion in pipelines in various environments can be provided by a corrosion control company to prevent unfortunate situations. Cathodic protection can be applied to pipelines in addition to coating to ensure reliable and safe operations. It must be noted that economic losses will be more expensive and dangerous if corrosion protection is not immediately initiated.