At approximately 10:30 AM Saturday, Jan 17, 2015, the Bridger Pipeline controller at the control room in Casper, Wyoming, noticed some abnormal pressure readings on the Bridger Pipeline’s Poplar Pipeline and began to investigate. The pipeline system pressure alarms sounded and the pipeline was shut down. Bridger Pipeline personnel then attempted to confirm a release and were unable to determine what the problem was, and an NRC report was filed at 17:58. The original NRC report stated the release was discovered at 2:30 PM. The original report was regarding a potential spill on NRC incident report #1105930. This section of the Poplar Pipeline is 12 inch diameter, 0.500 inch wall thickness and is located in the area of the Yellowstone River crossing. Also, there are two block valves approximately 6800 feet apart, and the pipeline fill is approximately 900 barrels within this section. The pressure drop was specifically in this 6800 foot section. The 300 barrels reported to NRC was determined by metering receipts and is the low range estimate. The crude oil in the line at the time of the release was primarily Bakken Crude.
Once the release was confirmed, Bridger Pipeline filed a second NRC incident report (#1105969) confirming the presence of oil in the Yellowstone River. The operator’s aerial patrol plane has confirmed a sheen on the Yellowstone River in open water approximately 3/4-mile downstream and also at the first intake that is 18 miles downstream from their pipeline. The quantity of crude oil released has been estimated at between 300 BBLs and 1200 BBLs.
IMG 0606 from WestonR08 on Vimeo.