Major gas pipeline resumes service after leak, panic buying in Las Vegas

A pipeline facility in California that was forced to shut down deliveries of gasoline and diesel from the Los Angeles area east to areas including Las Vegas and Phoenix due to a leak, resumed operations on Saturday, according to the pipeline’s operator.

The source of the leak was isolated within its Watson Station in Long Beach, California, and the facility began to deliver fuel by Saturday afternoon, according to pipeline operator Kinder Morgan.

The amount and cause of the leak were under investigation, according to Kinder Morgan communications manager Katherine Hill. Clark County officials said they believed supplies would not be affected by the leak.

Video showed drivers in long lines at gas stations across Las Vegas, many waiting for an hour to fill up their tanks.

“As the pipeline is expected to be fully operational by this evening, I again urge Las Vegas residents to refrain from panic buying fuel,” said Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, who had declared a state of emergency Friday to help mitigate the impact of the leak.

Kinder Morgan said the leak was discovered Thursday afternoon at a company station near Los Angeles and that its CALNEV and SFPP West pipelines were shut down while the Houston-based pipeline operator worked to resolve the issue.

The pipeline provides fuel storage facilities in southern Nevada with unleaded and diesel fuel, according to Clark County officials. Another pipeline operated by UNEV Pipeline LLC serves the Las Vegas area from northern Utah.

The Kinder Morgan website says its 566-mile CALNEV pipeline transports gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Los Angeles refineries and marine terminals through parallel 14-inch and 8-inch diameter pipelines to Barstow, California, and the Las Vegas area.

Hill said later that only the larger, 14-inch pipeline to Las Vegas had been shut down.

Airports it serves include Nellis Air Force Base and Harry Reid International in Las Vegas and Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, the company said.

Kinder Morgan’s SFPP West pipeline runs approximately 515 miles to transport petroleum products from the Los Angeles area to Colton and Imperial, California, and east to Phoenix.

CBS News reached out to several agencies, but had not heard back as of Saturday night about any potential environmental damage from the leak. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *