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Corrosion has been blamed for an oil spill that occurred in Wyoming this past May.  A backhoe initially nicked a 6-inch underground pipeline, which, over time, resulted in corrosion until the pipeline eventually ruptured.  Reports indicate that it’s unclear just how much time passed between initial backhoe damage and when the spill actually took place.  25,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled into the ground in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, traveling for more than 2 miles before being blocked by a temporary dam, which was put in place to prevent the spill from pouring into the Powder River.

oil fire
The 25,000 gallon crude oil spill was cleaned up by burning. Credit: kansascity.com

Cleanup efforts “went very well,” according to Bureau of Land Management environmental coordinator Bob Dundas.  Initially, the BLM was planning to use vacuum trucks to clean up the spill from the Casper-based Belle Fourche Pipeline, but later decided that burning the spill was a more efficient disposal manner.
The spill is reported to have occurred on federal and state-owned land; no private property was affected.  Even though high levels of petroleum remained in the soil for a few weeks following the spill, area groundwater is also said to have been uncontaminated.
While this spill isn’t exactly a disaster, per se, it could have been prevented.  After the back-hoe nicked the pipeline, a simple repair would have prevented the corrosion which lead to its ultimate demise.  And while traditional repair methods are costly and time consuming, often requiring steel welding and/or total replacement, there are other options available that don’t require replacement at all.
natural gas pipeline external reinforcement
HJ3’s CarbonSeal system is perfect for pipelines of all sizes. Here, a natural gas pipeline has been repaired with HJ3’s carbon fiber.

HJ3’s CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber repair systems provide an innovative approach to repairing nicked or otherwise damaged pipelines.  Carbon fiber composites are approved by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in their standard for repairing pressure equipment and piping.  Carbon fiber is actually 10x stronger than fiberglass systems, so less material is needed. The installation is quick, requiring only minimal downtime. And the overall price is competitive. ASME/PCC-2 compliant HJ3 Composite Technologies CarbonSeal systems have been used to repair thousands of linear feet of pipe since the original standard was created in 2008. HJ3’s systems in particular save owners up to 90{f00316eaeff19fc4d3daa6454136ee4db9a0ad1868aa2a79e58a2db09827821d} on repairs compared to replacing their pipe.
Pipeline ruptures are preventable.  As more and more oil refineries and individuals become aware of carbon fiber repair options, spills like this one will become less and less prevalent, but regular inspection of pipelines is key to providing a solid solution.
Want more information about repairing your corroded pipelines?  Email us at info@hj3.com.