Phillips 66 pipe bursts, spills oil near Santa Maria
June 4, 2015
Two weeks following the oil spill near Refugio State Beach, a second Santa Barbara County crude pipe burst, this time causing a small spill near Santa Maria. [KEYT]
Around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, a passerby reported seeing oil on a sidewalk in front of the Santa Barbara Count Sheriff’s station near the intersection of Foster Road and California Boulevard. The spill came from an underground Phillips 66 pipeline that runs from oil fields in Orcutt to the Nipomo mesa refinery.
Phillips 66 estimates the spill totalled less than one barrel of oil, or about 42 gallons. A spokesperson for the company said the Phillips 66 control room shut down the feed to the pipeline immediately after receiving report of the spill.
Cleanup and repair crews have since worked around the clock to patch up the pipe and make it operational again. Investigators have not yet determined what caused the pipeline to burst.
The spill caused a strong odor in the area, but a Phillips 66 spokesperson said people should not worry.
“Air monitoring indicates there is no health risk to the community,” said company spokeswoman Janet Grothe.
On May 19, a pipe belonging to Plains All American Pipeline ruptured near Goleta, causing 21,000 to 105,000 gallons of oil to spill. Much of the oil flowed into a culvert and then into a ditch that drains into the ocean.
A federal government report released Wednesday states the All American pipe had extensive external corrosion prior to it bursting.
Phillips 66 is currently seeking permission to transport crude oil by rail to the Niomo Mesa refinery. The planned rail spur would run through San Luis Obispo County.