An Accident in Rural Collin County Pushed Oil Prices Up Slightly Today

A bulldozer operator in rural Collin County created a ripple in the crude oil market today, according to a Wall Street Journal story.A road crew ruptured a 30-inch oil pipeline Monday afternoon near the town of Trenton. Oil traders have said the accident -- where there were no injuries -- "created some supply concerns, helping to push oil prices 2% higher in early trading..." according to the Journal story.The 500-mile Seaway pipeline transports oil from Cushing, Okla. to storage and refining facilities on the Texas Gulf Coast.Lt. Chris Havey, a spokesman for the Collin County Sheriff's Department, said authorities were notified of the accident at 3:30 p.m. A 200-yard stretch of Highway 121 was closed until 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.Havey said it was "relatively easy to route people around."Although there were no injuries, a spokesman for the one of the pipeline owners said two small businesses were evacuated. But they were allowed to return Tuesday.The pipeline is co-owned by Enterprise Products Partners and Enbridge Inc. Rick Rainey, an Enterprise spokesman, said a larger, parallel pipeline was undamaged but closed briefly as a precaution.The owners estimated that 15,000 barrels of oil spilled, and about 1,400 have been collected so far, according to the Texas Railroad Commission."A Railroad Commission inspector is on scene and will continue to monitor the operator's containment and cleanup efforts," said commission spokeswoman Ramona Nye in a written statement.Rainey said it was clear when the pipeline would reopen.The accident was near Desert Creek, which connects to Lavon Lake. Officials with the North Texas Municipal Water District, which operates Lavon as a water supply, said they were told that the oil was stopped before it reach any waterway.Ryan Lafontaine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said a road crew was performing excavation work on a Highway 121 project when the accident happened. He said investigators didn't know yet what went wrong.The work was part of a $15 million, 1.5-mile expansion of Highway 121. Lafontaine said this is expected to delay the work, which was scheduled for competition by the end of this year.The road work was performed by subcontractors of the project general contractor, Austin Bridge & Road.  Continue reading...

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