Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that loosed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.
Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.
The company did not have an estimate for the restarting of the pipeline, which was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak. An oil spill of more than 1,000 barrels into a Wisconsin field from an Enbridge pipeline last summer kept that line shuttered for around 11 days.
With their opposing armies massed on either side of the contested border dividing southern and northern Iraq, leaders in Baghdad and the semiautonomous Kurdistan region are warning they are close to civil war — one that could be triggered by Exxon Mobil.
Although leaders on both sides are negotiating a walk back from the brink, they also say their armies could easily be provoked into battle. One of the most sensitive tripwires is Exxon, which is preparing to drill for oil in the disputed territories at the heart of the military standoff. Iraq’s two most explosive political conflicts — over land and oil — are primed to combust.
“The prime minister has been clear: If Exxon lays a finger on this territory, they will face the Iraqi army,” said Sami Alaskary, a member of parliament and close confidant of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “We don’t want war, but we will go to war, for oil and for Iraqi sovereignty.”
Exxon Makes $104 Million in Profit Per Day So Far in 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With a Higher Gas Bill
Last year, ExxonMobil, one of the world’s most profitable companies, earned $1,300 in profits per second. As consumers paid record-high springtime gas prices, Exxon posted first quarter profits of $9.45 billion.
This is down slightly from the first quarter of 2011, when Exxon posted $10.65 billion in profits. Exxon benefited from the high price of oil, but analysts expected slightly lower profits due in part to the cheap price of natural gas, which the company is heavily invested in.
A by-the-numbers look shows how Exxon’s executives and Big Oil’s allies are rewarded generously for the company’s billions, while Americans are stuck with rising gas bills:
$9.45 billion profits, or almost $104 million per day in the first three months of the year.
13 percent: The tax rate Exxon paid last year, lower than the average American family.
60 percent of its first quarter earnings, or $5.7 billion, on buying back stock. Became world’s largest dividend payer by increasing dividends 21 percent.
$1,091,000: Political contributions sent to federal politicians for the 2012 election cycle, making it the largest oil and gas spender.
91% of these contributions went to Republicans.
More than $52,000,000: Lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush Administration.
$34.9 million: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s salary for 2011, a 20 percent raise.
$52,300: Political contributions from Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in the 2012 cycle, alone.
No. 2: Fortune 500 list of richest companies and for highest-paid CEO.
LAUREL, Mont. (AP) — Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana’s Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.
Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana’s Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.
The break near Billings in south-central Montana fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts Saturday to close intakes.
The river has no dams on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River just across the Montana border in North Dakota. It was unclear how far the plume might travel.
Cleanup crews deployed booms and absorbent material as the plume moved downstream at an estimated 5 to 7 mph.
“The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River,” Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said.
Exxon’s Yellowstone oil spill prompts evacuations
A 600-foot-long black smear of oil coated Jim Swanson’s riverfront property just downstream from where the pipe broke.
“Whosever pipeline it is better be knocking on my door soon and explaining how they’re going to clean it up,” Swanson said as globules of oil bubbled to the surface. “They say they’ve got it capped off. I’m not so sure.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. has told Texas environmental regulators there was an eight-week-long, 108,000-pound propylene release at the company’s refinery complex near Houston.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon reported to regulators a tubing leak was discovered on June 2 in the chemical plant portion of the sprawling complex in Baytown. The leak was isolated within a half-hour, but Exxon says the leak may have started on April 12.
Propylene is a component of ground-level ozone. According to the report, Exxon isn’t permitted to release any propylene at the olefins plant.
Exxon Mobil is by far the most profitable company in the new Fortune 500 list, riding “high oil prices to a staggering $30 billion in income” in 2010. Exxon made over $10 billion more than fellow oil giant Chevron, the third most profitable company (AT&T edged out Chevron for the number two spot). ConocoPhillips’ $11.4 billion in profits put it in the 16th spot, giving the three oil giants a combined $60.9 billion in profits in 2010.
Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives celebrated this massive redistribution of wealth from American families to oil executives. With the support of 7 oil-patch Democrats, 234 Republicans voted to block a bill to eliminate a $1.8 billion annual subsidy that treats oil drilling as “domestic manufacturing”:
House Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats Thursday to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on a bill to repeal a key oil industry tax break.
As they did in March, House Republicans voted unanimously to defend these wasteful, unaffordable and unfair oil subsidies, even though several members told their constituents they want to end them.
i wonder when these constituents will realise they’ve been taken for a ride.
Presenting “Senator Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Corporate Freeloaders.” The image speaks for itself. To view the full size image in your browser click here.
BP is currently the oil company everyone loves to hate, but there was a time, not too long ago, when ExxonMobil attracted a lot more scorn—in part because it was funding so many different climate-change denier groups. (See Chris Mooney’s old but excellent Mother Jones piece that followed the money trail.) Then, in 2007, the company announced it would quit donating to anti-science groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the bad press mostly went away. Until now, that is. The Times of London reports today that ExxonMobil is back on the wagon:
Read the rest…
The government actually played a big role in this spill. Congress passed a law following the Exxon-Valdez spill in 1991 that restricted the liability of oil companies in these incidents to $75 million. There are estimates that the damage from this spill to the fishing and tourism industry in the region could exceed $100 billion. Would BP be as anxious to drill recklessly if it knew that it could be picking up this tab?