Chevron recovers less oil than first expected from Utah diesel pipeline leak


Chevron has cleaned up less of the diesel that leaked from its pipeline near a freshwater lake in Utah than it had originally thought, the company said Wednesday.

Chevron is dealing with the fallout of the March 18 leak, which resulted in 600 bbl of diesel from its refinery in Salt Lake City spilling into marshes close to a freshwater lake in Willard Bay State Park, Utah. The company has to date recovered 354 bbl of the fuel, down from the 500 bbl it had said it had collected Friday, Chevron spokesman Gareth Johnstone said.

"After allowing the recovered diesel and water volumes to fully separate, and using improved gauging methods, the total volume of diesel recovered has been revised down," Mr. Johnstone said.

Federal regulators have barred Chevron from restarting the line until the company completes a checklist of corrective actions, including a metallurgical test of the failed 60-year-old pipe.

About 90 Chevron employees and contractors joined state and federal government workers to clean the site, recovering about 250 bbl of diesel as of Friday. The fuel hasn't been found in the Willard Bay reservoir, a source of drinking water for the area, said Matt Allen, spokesman for the US Environmental Protection Agency.

"We're not seeing anything that would impact drinking water standards," Mr. Allen said.

Chevron is investigating the cause of the leak, with an initial check pointing to a seam failure, the company said. Chevron last inspected the pipeline in 2007, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, the federal agency in charge of pipeline safety.

PHMSA conducted its own inspection in April 2011 and September 2012, resulting in the agency sending a "letter of concern" to Chevron because the company hadn't finished an analysis of why the same pipeline system leaked 22 bbl of oil in April 2010, PHMSA said.

Dow Jones Newswires

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