Last Friday, as national attention turned to the massive Exxon Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, another oil spill was occurring near Houston, Texas. Operators of a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary's West Columbia pipeline, a 15 mile long, 16 inch diameter line, received warnings from the US National Response Center of a potential 700 barrel release (nearly 30,000 gallons) of crude oil on Friday, March 29.
Yesterday, representatives from the US Coast Guard acknowledged at least 50 barrels of oil had entered Vince Bayou, a waterway connected to the Gulf of Mexico.
On Monday, April 1, Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon told Reuters “no evidence” of a crude oil leak had been found. “Right now, we haven't seen anything,” she said at the time. Investigators have since determined at least 60 barrels of the spilled oil had entered the Bayou. It is unclear at this time what kind of crude oil the pipeline carried.
DeSmog contacted Shell Pipelines US media relations department to inquire about the type and size of the spill but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.
Steven Lehman, Coast Guard Petty Officer told Dow Jones, “That's a very early estimate - things can change.”