Exxon Mobil Spill Worsened When Employees Delayed Action

The 2011 spill increased by 1,000 barrels after employees waited 46 minutes to close all valves.

A new probe into the 2011 Exxon Mobil oil spill in Yellowstone River shows that the company’s delay in taking action worsened the accident’s consequences. Wednesday, federal investigators released a report showing that 1,000 extra barrels of oil spilled due to a slow response time.

In July 2011, Exxon Mobil’s Silvertip pipeline, below a Montana river ruptured, spilling an estimated $135 million worth of oil into that river, spreading into Yellowstone River. When employees discovered a drop in pressure, they closed some valves on the pipeline, but waited 46 minutes to close the rest. The size of the spill was increased by two-thirds.

If the valves had been closed immediately, according to the report conducted by the Department of Transportation, only 500 barrels would have been spilled, as opposed to the 1,500 barrels released.

Another issue brought to light in the report is the depth of the pipes in the ground. The pipes were just four to five feet below the riverbed, the minimum allowed depth. Experts say that this depth is too shallow.

The DOT is still evaluating the incident to determine is Exxon Mobil will face repercussions.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Incident investigation guide

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2020

    July August 2020

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Addressing Confined Spaces and Heat Stress Concerns
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Why Daily Wear FR Garments Make Sense No Matter the Season
    • HAND PROTECTION
      The Magic of New Technology
    • CHEMICAL SAFETY
      Why Effective Chemical Safety Training is More Important Than Ever
    View This Issue