Pipeline resumes normal operations after Bastrop County oil spill


The Longhorn pipeline carries crude oil from the Permian Basin in West Texas to the Houston area.

Authorities had evacuated a 1-mile radius of the spill and discouraged drivers from a portion of FM 20.

The Longhorn pipeline resumed normal operations on Sunday after a contractor last week struck a fitting, releasing 50,000 gallons of crude oil into a residential and commercial area in southwestern Bastrop County.

According to Magellan Midstream Partners, which owns the pipeline that carries crude oil from West Texas to Houston, the section that was damaged on Thursday has been repaired. Normal operations resumed on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Cleanup efforts are ongoing in Bastrop County.

On Friday, Magellan reported it had safely recaptured all the spilled oil and was working to replace the affected soil.

After brief evacuations, all residents in the area were allowed to return home on Thursday, and the roadways were reopened the following day. No one was injured in the incident, officials said.

Environmental and oil and gas specialists had gone into overdrive to clean the spill, which had forced 15 families to evacuate the area around FM 20 and Shiloh Road, about 4 miles southwest of Bastrop.

According to Magellan, one of its contractors struck a fitting about 9:20 a.m. Thursday in the 400 block of FM 20, causing about 1,200 barrels — or 50,400 gallons — of crude oil to spill into the surrounding area.

The pipeline was immediately shut down, Magellan said, and the spill was isolated.

Authorities had evacuated a 1-mile radius of the spill and sent residents to the River Valley Fellowship Church on Texas 71 and Texas 21 in Bastrop. The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management asked the public avoid the area around FM 20 between Shiloh and Walter Hoffman roads.

Office of Emergency Management Assistant Deputy Director James Gabriel said it was dangerous for people in the area to inhale fumes from the spilled oil, which he added could pose a fire risk because the oil was flammable.

About 100 emergency responders, environmental cleanup crews, local, state and federal employees, and Magellan employees joined the cleanup, Magellan spokesperson Tom Byers said at the time.

Magellan sent vacuum trucks to the area to remove the spilled oil before starting excavations to remove and replace the affected soil, the company said.

None of the oil reached any Bastrop County water sources, according to officials.

A boil water notice that was issued in Bastrop on Friday occurred after crews struck a water line near Bastrop State Park and was unrelated to the spill.

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