Harvey Aftermath: Huge Gas Leak is Biggest Known Spill Near Houston

The massive BridgeTex Pipeline was completed in 2014 and terminates in east Houston. The pipeline - owned by Magellan Midstream and Plains All American Pipeline - carries Permian Basin crude oil from Colorado City to Houston. The pipeline was expanded to 400,000 barrels a day of capacity this year and the owners are currently weighing an additional expansion to 440,000 barrels daily.
The massive BridgeTex Pipeline was completed in 2014 and terminates in east Houston. The pipeline – owned by Magellan Midstream and Plains All American Pipeline – carries Permian Basin crude oil from Colorado City to Houston. The pipeline was expanded to 400,000 barrels a day of capacity this year and the owners are currently weighing an additional expansion to 440,000 barrels daily.

A gasoline tank leak by Magellan Midstream is the largest reported spill caused by Hurricane Harvey near Houston after Magellan revised the spill amount by more than 10 times the initial estimate.

The Oklahoma-based pipeline business confirmed Monday it spilled nearly 11,000 barrels – more than 460,000 gallons – after initially estimating the Aug. 31 incident at 1,000 barrels. Magellan admitted “a small amount” of the fuel entered the Houston Ship Channel and more of the gasoline flowed into an adjacent ditch.

The spill was first reported by the Associated Press.

Harvey-related flooding caused the storage tank flooding at Magellan’s Galena Park terminal east of Houston by Hunting Bayou and the Buffalo Bayou portion of the Houston Ship Channel.

“Once Magellan representatives were able to assess the volume of the release caused by Hurricane Harvey, we promptly revised the volume and notified appropriate federal and state regulators,” Magellan spokesman Bruce Heine said Monday. “Magellan representatives and environmental experts quickly responded to the release by spraying the fuel with foam to suppress any harmful vapors.”

Heine did not respond to further questions about why there was such a wide discrepancy from the original estimate, except to repeat the previous statement.

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SOURCE: Jordan Blum
Houston Chronicle