Damages following March oil spill are set to exceed £40 million

Spill in Arkansas occurred when an Exxon-owned pipeline ruptured

ExxonMobil estimates that the March oil spill in an Arkansas subdivision has caused more than $70.5 million (£42.7 million) in damages for the company, according to documents recently filed with the federal Government.

The figures were reported in an updated accident report submitted late last month to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Exxon’s pipeline ruptured on March 29th, spilling thousands of barrels of oil in the Mayflower community about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Exxon spokesman Aaron Stryk said the damage total does not include the purchase of subdivision homes, which the company has offered to purchase based on appraisals from before the oil spill.
“These are costs related to cleanup and remediation,” Stryk said.
Property records show that Exxon had purchased 20 of the subdivision’s 62 houses as of December 9th. Three of the purchased houses, all within yards of the rupture site, have been demolished because of oil beneath their foundations.

Stryk said the company “will maintain and market the properties it purchases in a manner that will be considerate of the value of the neighbouring properties and the rest of the subdivision.” He said the company had not placed any houses up for sale.

According to the latest accident report, the cost of the emergency response to the oil spill was estimated at $58.8 million (£35.8 million), with environmental remediation costs put at $7.5 million (£4.6 million). The estimated cost of the pipeline company’s property damage and repair was placed at $1.2 million (£0.75 million), while the cost of the commodity — Canadian crude oil — lost was put at $300,000 (£180,000). The company estimated that “other costs” had reached $2.7 million, which included expenses for temporary housing and living expenses for spill-affected residents.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has recommended $2.6 million (£1.6 million) in civil penalties against Exxon, finding nine probable violations of pipeline safety regulations. Stryk said Exxon is still reviewing the notice of probable violations.


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