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Flint Hills Resources completes oil spill investigation

Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 12:29:26-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An investigation is complete concerning the Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Terminal oil spill that happened on Dec. 24, 2022.

According to a press release from Flint Hills Resources 14,000 gallons of light crude oil were discharged from a fractured 3-inch sump line on Dock 5.

The findings of the investigation indicate:

• The 3” sump line was not emptied after removing the Dock 5 sump pump from service in June 2022; therefore, the line was still holding liquid.

• During the time of the release, temperatures had dipped below the freezing point. The pipe’s failure occurred due to water freezing within the line, causing it to expand and fracture.

• Although Flint Hills Resources executed a freeze protection checklist at the Ingleside Terminal prior to the freeze event, the checklist did not address the threat of freezing within the sump line on the inactive Dock 5.

• The 3” sump line was designed to transport liquids accumulated in the sump, such as rainwater, from Dock 5 to the terminal tanks through piping that is also used for crude oil transfer.

The liquid in the line drained out when the pipe failure occurred on the sump line. That allowed the crude oil to backflow into and come out of the sump line.

After the release of the oil, Flint Hills Resources drained, air-gapped and disconnected the Dock 5 sump line from the terminal.

A freeze protection checklist was updated to include requirements around low flow/no flow piping, like what happened on Dock 5.

Flint Hills Resources is still proactively monitoring area shorelines.

The company says that small amounts of oil are washing out from jetties and breakwater rocks near North Beach and University Beach because of the changing weather and tides.

Citizens are urged to report oil slicks in the affected areas by calling the Flint Hills Resources Ingleside Response Center at 361-396-2831.

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