Pipeline Safety

A key component of Western Refining Logistics' safety commitment is our ongoing Public Awareness Program, which includes delivering education and public safety information to our neighbors.

PETROLEUM PIPELINES IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Americans consume more than 700 million gallons of petroleum products each day. Some of these products like fuel and heating oil play a fundamental role in our everyday lives.

Underground pipelines transport half of all the petroleum products shipped domestically. The use of these pipelines helps keep the cost of gasoline and other petroleum products down and are vital to our nation’s economy.

PIPELINES ARE SAFE

Pipelines are the safest method of transporting petroleum and they can operate safely for an indefinite period of time. Western Refining Logistics is committed to the safe operation of its pipelines for the safety of the public and the environment. We maintain an outstanding safety record that includes 24-hour surveillance, routine inspections, computer monitoring, corrosion protection, maintenance/testing programs, and employee training. You can help us by learning how to prevent pipeline emergencies, how to recognize a pipeline leak, and what to do if a leak occurs. Follow these safety guidelines and keep this information pamphlet as a handy reference.

IS THERE A PIPELINE NEAR YOU?

In fact, there are pipelines currently located across New Mexico, and Texas.

LOOK FOR PIPELINE MARKERS

Western Refining Logistics Pipeline system transports two different products, crude oil and HVL (LPG). The pipeline markers along the line will tell you which product that pipeline carries. Our pipeline markers are used to show the approximate location of pipelines, what is being transported, and how to contact Western Refining Logistics.

Familiarize yourself with the location of any markers that may be in your neighborhood. Markers are located at public roads, rail crossings, and other intervals along the pipeline path. Call before you dig anywhere near a pipeline. It is a state law that any individual or company must call 811 (State of New Mexico and Texas One Call Center) two days prior to any movement of the earth.

RECOGNIZE A PIPELINE LEAK

Your senses of sight, smell, and hearing are the best way to recognize a pipeline leak. And while leaks rarely occur, recognizing these signs is the first step in protecting yourself, your family and our neighborhood.

LOOK FOR:

  • Discolored plants or trees surrounding the pipeline in an otherwise green area.
  • Flames originating from the ground or valve along the pipeline route.
  • A dense white cloud or fog.
  • Bubbling in standing water.
  • An oily or multicolored sheen on land or water.

LISTEN FOR:

  • A hissing or bubbling sound near a pipeline or an area of the pipeline.

SMELL FOR:

  • A strange or unusual smell – the product will have a petroleum odor like oil or a rotten egg odor.

POSSIBLE HAZARDS ASSOCIATED

a) CRUDE OIL: The vapors of crude oil are generally heavier than air, however, not in all cases. They tend to remain close to the ground and will flow along ground contours and may especially fill depressions such as ditches, valleys and canyons. In the event of a release of crude oil, careful consideration should be given to surface terrain, direction and velocity of wind, and the proximity of ignition sources such as vehicles, buildings, and railroads. Crude oil vapors are flammable. Some transported crude oils may contain Hydrogen Sulfide Gas (H2S). H2S is a colorless gas which is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract at low concentrations; and, at higher concentrations may cause respiratory paralysis, unconsciousness, and death. H2S has a distinctive rotten egg odor.

b) HVL: High volatile liquids, hydrocarbons are classified as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). It is a petroleum derived gas which is compressed into a liquid and stored and handled as a liquid under pressure. LPG is colorless and odorless in its natural form. HVL vapors are flammable. LPG gases are not considered toxic. They can, however, dilute the oxygen content of air to levels insufficient for breathing. The vapors of LPG products are heavier than air. They tend to remain close to the ground assisted by the visible fog of condensed water vapor created and will flow along the contour of the surface.

WHAT TO DO IN A PIPELINE EMERGENCY

  • Immediately leave the area on foot in an upwind direction.
  • Avoid making contact with escaping liquids or vapors.
  • Avoid potential ignition sources.
  • DO NOT light a match, start an engine or automobile, use a telephone, or switch on/off an electric light or appliance.
  • Abandon all equipment being used in the area.
  • DO NOT drive into an area in which you encounter a leak or vapor cloud.
  • Warn others to stay away from the area.
  • DO NOT try to operate any pipeline valves yourself.
  • DO NOT use a cell phone while near the suspected emergency area.
  • From a distant phone, call Western Refining Company Emergency Number 1-888-658-8006 for New Mexico, 915-775-3411 for Texas and 911 or your local fire, police, or sheriff’s office.