A kerosene leak (A1 jet category) was detected on a pipeline (nominal diameter DN: 108, pressure: 13.8 bar, operational since: 1942) connecting a refinery to a storage area outside the oil platform site. The quantity of lost product was estimated at 846 tonnes (or 1,000 m³). This kerosene infiltrated the soil and polluted the water table. According to the press, drinking water sources however were not affected.

The pipeline was turned off, drained and inspected. The leak zone was located on 3 March and excavation work exposed a 5-mm diameter hole. An external appraisal concluded that pipeline damage was due to deterioration to its protective bitumen layer as well as the presence of a stray current caused by having a water pipeline buried 1 m above the kerosene line. The oil company’s alarm system was inefficient, only activating once at least 5,000 litres/h were being lost (the rate of this leak was on the order of 2,000 litres/h).

The spilled kerosene contaminated both the soil and the water table over approx. 5 ha of land area. The pollutant could be recovered by pumping, after lowering the water table thanks to 4 sanitation wells, the last of which was installed in March 2013.


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