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I-Team: Chevron Reported Dozens Of Gas Line Ruptures Since 2006

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Since 2006, Chevron has reported dozens of incidents where its natural gas pipelines have been hit, according to records from state and local agencies -- and the incidents have caused millions of dollars in property damage.

The CBS 11 I-Team examined Chevron safety records, both on the federal and state level -- after the latest incident in Milford, where a 10-inch natural gas line was hit by an on-site construction crew.

According to Texas Railroad Commission records, from 2006 until 2013, Chevron has had eight state incidents where its gas lines where hit.

In each of those reports, the company that was digging, the excavator, blamed the line locating agency for not properly flagging the gas line they hit.

Chevron - TRRC
(credit: TRCC)

In the same seven-year time period, 55 federal incidents involving Chevron gas lines were reported, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

None of those incidents resulted in death or major injury, but caused more than $108 million in property damage nationwide, $3.3 million in Texas alone.

Chevron - PHMSA
(credit: PHMSA)

CBS 11's Investigative Reporter Mireya Villareal spoke with Brigham McCown, a former top-leader for PHSMA, the federal agency that regulates this type of pipeline.  He offered some insight on why the fire will continue to burn.

"If it is pipeline fire or something that can be controlled by a valve, then the fuel supply can be shut off and it will burn out. If, however, it's a drilling site or a production fire, it will be harder to put out because it will be harder to turn the supply off," McCown said.

PHSMA will be in charge of the investigation, which could take anywhere from six months to 20 months to complete.

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