After an initial incident in September 2001, another leak occurred on a pipe between a coastal depot and a power plant storage facility (pipe length: 7,430 m; depth: 2 m) during transfer of heavy fuel oil no. 2. The operating procedure called for: rinsing with light fuel oil under 10 bar of pressure, followed by transfer of heavy fuel oil no. 2 at 85°C and 38 bar, and another light fuel oil rinsing at 20 bar. On 9th February, this sequence was initiated. The next day, a farmer noticed the presence of fuel oil in a field. The emergency response plan was immediately launched and public agencies arrived onsite, along with fire-fighting crews. The field was slightly polluted (covering 2 m²). The pipeline was placed in safe mode by injecting water. The day after (11th Feb.), a subcontractor stripped the polluted ground (10 m³), for storage in the retention basin at one of the plant’s heavy fuel oil tanks. Initial visual inspection of the pipe failed to determine whether the leak was caused by the pipeline or an external aggression. As part of the monitoring effort set up following the first incident, the DRIRE (environmental protection) agency had requested an in-depth analysis: this appraisal was underway. The selected method (leakage current) had exposed several anomalies on some pipeline segments, with more detailed investigations proving necessary and were still ongoing.

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