(KCPW News) Chevron has reopened a 13.75 mile segment of pipeline that’s been shut down since it leaked 33,000 gallons, or about 800 barrels, of crude oil into Red Butte Creek earlier this month. Dan Johnson, public affairs manager for Chevron, says a test over the weekend indicated it was safe to start running oil through the pipeline.
“It passed that test with flying colors. And with that, we passed the DOT protocol and have permission to start up the pipeline, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve filled it up with oil and it’s operating right now,” Johnsons says.
Chevron tested the pipeline by filling it with pressurized water tinted with an environmentally-friendly dye. Johnson says workers flew over the pipeline and walked along it to determine if it was leaking any of the tinted water. After getting clearance from the Department of Transportation, Chevron began moving oil through the pipeline early Monday morning.
Johnson says pipelines remain one of the most effective and safe ways to transport oil to the Salt Lake Valley.
“If we were going to have to deliver the same amount of crude oil by truck that we do by pipeline, there would be hundreds and hundreds of more trucks on the road,” Johnson says. “And all the studies that have been done over the years really demonstrate the safety of pipelines over truck transportation.”
The Red Butte Canyon pipeline transports between 13 and 15,000 barrels of crude oil a day to the Chevron refinery in Salt Lake City, where it’s turned into gasoline and jet fuel. It is one of two pipelines Chevron operates in Utah.