Seaway - A Pipeline of Poison

The 3/4/2017 report of crude oil spilled near Wapunuka in Johnson County, OK is now included in the PHMSA report, Hazardous Liquid Accident Data - January 2010 to present. The leak is reported to be only four gallons, due to a crack in the Seaway pipeline that was built in 1976. The pipeline was restarted on 3/8/2017.

Map showing location of Milburn OK spill. This is the third spill from Seaway Pipeline in six months.

Reuters report on the Oklahoma leak


UPDATE: Cleanup Continues, Questions Remain at Collin County Oil Spill Site

See videos of the Blue Ridge rupture, January 30, 2017.

Video of Cleanup

Texas Department of Transportation construction workers on State Highway 121 near Blue Ridge, Anna, and Trenton TX broke the high pressure Seaway Pipeline on the afternoon of January 30, 2017.

The pipeline was apparently correctly built and located by Seaway. Incorrect information was on work documents used by the contracted construction crews about the depth of the pipeline. The weight of a bulldozer crossing the pipeline caused the break.

The location of the leak is about thirty-one miles south of the Colbert pumping station, forty-two miles north of the Terrell pumping station, and fourteen miles upstream from Lake Lavon. A Texas Railroad Commission representative said a dam is to be constructed to block oil from flowing into Desert Creek. No special action to protect groundwater has been announced.

An estimate of 15,000 barrels (630,000 gallons) spilled was published in news reports but the figure later given in the PHMSA report was 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons). Seaway Pipeline operators posted minimal information about the spill for four days then removed all reference to it from its site.

Texas Railroad Commission regulations regarding an oil spill cleanup require that cleaned soil contain less than 1% hydrocarbons by one year following the spill.


The Enbridge/Enterprise Seaway Pipeline began operations in May 2012.[1] It reversed a 36-year old pipeline to carry tar sand crude from Cushing OK to the Texas Gulf coast.[2] In January 2013, the flow rate for Seaway was increased when new pumps were brought online[3] Enbridge and Enterprise announced in March, 2012, plans to build a twin pipeline next to the existing Seaway.[4] Seaway Crude Pipeline began construction of the Seaway Loop in June, 2013.
Concerns regarding the Seaway include the following:
  • Tar Sand is far more toxic than conventional crude.
  • Pipeline transports highly pressurized, acidic and corrosive material, making pipes susceptible to rupture.
  • Aging pipeline is over 36 years old (built in 1976).
  • Tar sand spill threatens DFW water supplies and their tributaries with proprietary material that is difficult, if not impossible to clean up.
  • Tar sand crude will increase U.S. oil costs 2-4 billion dollars.
  • Tar sand is meant for export, not to decrease our dependency on foreign oil.
  • Lack of oversight demands both federal and state agency intervention regarding tar sand pipelines.


4/21/17 Buffalo Pipeline leaks 19,000 gallons onto Oklahoma farmlland 

2/7/17 Dakota Access Pipeline: Army issuing final permit

2/2/17 Native Americans Continue The Fight To Stop The Trans-Pecos

12/5/16 Belle Fourche Pipeline leaks 176,000 gallons into North Dakota creek

4/8/16 TransCanada Keystone Pipeline still leaking in South Dakota

3/17/16-3/18/16 Series Catalogues TransCanada's Corruption and Unsafe Building Practices.

3/1/16 Inspection raises doubts about Keystone South safety.

4/20/15 Pipelines blow up and people die  Note that both Enterprise and Enbridge are listed in the top ten pipeline companies by number of "incidents."

Texas Pipeline Watch
3/26/2014 Five Dirty Pipelines you've never heard of; Seaway is on the list.
Texas Pipeline Watch's website has maps of all the tar sand pipelines in Texas.
Texas Pipeline Watch's Facebook timeline has up to the minute postings by volunteer pipeline monitors around the state.


Google News Feed

1.^ Seaway Pipeline send oil to Texas in historic reversal,
2.^ Enbridge, like other tar sand carriers such as TransCanada, often refers to tar sand crude oil as "crude oil". Thus, we hear that "crude oil" is bottlnecked in Cushing OK. The bottleneck is attributed by Bloomberg News to Canadian and Nebraskan oil sands, also known as tar sands,
3.^ NYMEX-U.S. crude up after Seaway pipeline pumps oil from Midwest, January 14, 2013, Reuters
4.^ Enterprise and Enbridge to Proceed With 450,000 Barrel Per Day Expansion of Seaway Crude Oil Pipeline, March 12, 2012, Enbridge,