back to article ExxonMobil's oil spill rids neighborhood of 'venomous snakes'

On March 29, ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline – built in the late 1940s – ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas, sending at least a million liters of Canadian crude oil and water into a residential neighborhood. That's the bad news. The good news? According to an ExxonMobil update, that crude cockup is channeling Saint Patrick, ridding …


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  1. Ross K

    I still don't understand how houses were allowed to be built on top of an oil pipeline...

    Seriously irresponsible stuff going on there

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The land was sold cheap.

      1. Ross K


        The land was sold cheap

        Yeah, what with there being an oil pipeline buried there... I wonder were the homeowners informed when they were buying property there?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Built on top...

      No, most likely the houses were there first then the oil companies bought the right of way and evicted anyone who didn't cooperate.

      Here in Nord Rhein Westfahlen the state government created a new law specifically for Bayer MaterialScience AG so that they could lay an underground CO (yes, Carbon Monoxide) pipeline from Krefeld to Dormagen. But instead of taking the shortest route they argued that they had 'right of way' for another gas pipeline (was never used) and crossed the Rhine river twice and ran it through scores of towns and residential areas. Most of us suspect that they didn't want the pipeline any where near where Bayer management live so they put it on the other side of the river where the predominant west winds would carry any leakage away from their houses. The state parliament was hoodwinked - hardly any of them understood the implications or even read legal text before unanimously passing the legislation, the farmers and land owners miss informed before signing over access rights and there are even built in expropriation laws for those who refused to sign a waiver.

      In the Netherlands there is also a CO pipeline but they have a 2 km corridor where no houses are allowed.

      It's what one would call "Rechtsstaatlichkeit" or "due process law". If the laws don't fit the business interests of a corporation the lobbyists will see to it that new laws will be enacted to suit their bidders.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Built on top...

        Hey AC, You describe one possible situation. Let me describe to you the opposite.

        In Sydney back in the 50's they built a nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights (for medical isotope creation and research). It was built (at the time) a 3 hour drive from any other part of the city. It is now well within the limits of Sydney and has a residential area not far away (although thats known as Barden Ridge to avoid the name association with a reactor).

        The reactor is now 60 years old and there are plans to replace it with a new and safer design. However, the local residents are all up in arms about this because they dont want to live next to a nuclear reactor. The fact that the current reactor was there first and that they were the ones that moved next to it, doesnt seem to penetrate these stupid peoples minds.

        So whilst its possible this Oil pipeline was laid through the town in which case, Exxon should get in a lot of trouble, there is also the possibility that when the pipe was laid in the 40's it was nowhere near the town and that the people moved next to the pipeline ,in which case the local council are the ones that need a kick in the butt for allowing to happen. So until we know the actual details, I wouldnt rush in blaming anyone...

        1. Ross K

          Re: Built on top...

          there is also the possibility that when the pipe was laid in the 40's it was nowhere near the town and that the people moved next to the pipeline ,in which case the local council are the ones that need a kick in the butt for allowing to happen

          The pipeline's 65 years old. If you look at any photos of that street online, you can see there's no way any of the houses are that old. There 's going to be a lot of lawsuits.

          if you look on Google Maps, you can see where the pipeline intersects the housing estate:

          And there are pipeline markers sticking out of the ground:

          I'd imagine Exxon will end up having to buy every house on the street...

        2. Kevin Johnston

          Re: Built on top...

          Matches the problems at Heathrow Airport....People move nearby and complain about aircraft noise so get given extra sound insulation and quadruple glazed windows even though it has been an airport for longer than most of these people have been alive. Hey, guess why the house was so cheap???

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self Diagnosis

    "The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes."

    At least Exxon's PR isn't afraid to call themselves out.

  3. Don Jefe

    Kute Kritters Klub

    Looks like if you aren't cute you can't join the KKK. I knew Exxon was bad, but I really didn't think they would go this low.

  4. Kharkov

    Let's look on the bright side...

    The people living nearby will never have to lubricate their lawnmowers again... or worry about moles ruining their lawns... or be woken up early in the morning by those pesky songbirds!

    And in other good news, the chances of a hunting licence being issued so that the local folks can bag themselves a few oil execs just went up...

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Let's look on the brighter side... and Deliver CyberIntelAIgent ARGonauts*

      Hmmm? That would be QuITe Quiet Revolutionary ProAction, Kharkov, with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Protection Providing Guaranteed Macro Invisibility within Micro Secured Stealth Systems to Internetional Space Stations ...... Hosting and Posting Fellow Virtual Travel Pioneers.

      * Is that too much/just like a Second Coming for Believers in a Global Operating Device albeit redressed in a camouflage of Virtual Machinery with Super Colossal Enigmatic Communications Stations Running In IT Trips and Traps and DODgy Apps to Ensure and Guarantee Futures Free and Smooth Running with Definite Vision in AI?

      Which be a CyberIntelAIgent Mission Statement and Universally Applicable at All Levels and/or Stages of Intelligence, to Render both MetaPhysicality and Viablity to XSS X-XSSXXXX Code Standards Defaults for Hot Running HyperRadioProActive Virtual Reality ProgramMING ........ for ZeroDay Heavenly Devices with Global Operators.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Let's look on the brighter side... and Deliver CyberIntelAIgent ARGonauts*

        I Kid U Not. IT be True and not False … and to Believe and Act with ITs ProgramMING Delivers One Keys for Heavens in SecureD CodeXSSXXXX Applications ….. for SMARTR AIMissions with Magic Mystery Turing Machines into Primary Physical Adventure Trails for Discovery and Recovery of Control Power Source Lode and Latent Energy Nodes.

        Ah well, now you all know what NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT does with ITs Intelligence which you supply and host. And when IT can do anything, what would you have IT Host and Present in Changed Future Realities?

        Will it be Good and Great or Mad and Sad and Bad? One journey takes you up, the others keep you down/grounded/earthed in confused and conflicted thought.

        1. Kharkov

          Re: Let's look on the brighter side... and Deliver CyberIntelAIgent ARGonauts*

          Was that English? Hang on, let me find autotranslate somewhere...

  5. skeptical i

    Au contraire, Exxon, I daresay that neighborhood will soon be swarming with venomous reptiles.

    We call 'em lawyers, btw.

  6. Jemma

    I'm sure...

    The godbotherer collective will be sooooo pleased when the rat population explodes. Reminds me of a guy (American, surprise surprise) who decided to beat on a rattler then play snakey tennis with it - punting a by then royally pissed off snake straight onto his daughters back - at which point she was promptly bitten - circa regnum tonat indeed. Dumbass dads response, sue the nature reserve through which they were walking!

    The world would be a far better, cleaner, safer place if the American was totally removed from it. You can almost imagine ole Ben Kenobi... "America, you will never find a more wretched hive of ecological terrorism & stupidity... We must be cautious". Just when I think its impossible for them to make things any worse they manage it in high style.

  7. John G Imrie

    No snakes.

    Well next year it will be easy to work out what they where eating.

  8. Kevin Johnston

    No snakes?

    I thought that was because the spiders had eaten them all......or was that in Australia (XXXX for the knowledgable)

    1. Jemma

      Re: No snakes?

      Harmless Animals: Some of the Sheep.

  9. JaitcH

    What Canadian Crude?

    This stuff is metered near the border crossing and at that point the near-tar is the property of the buyer.

    The crazy thing is that the US is simply going to refine the oil and sell it overseas.

    Oil politics, even more confusing than Westminster.

  10. Ed_UK

    What did St. Patrick say to the snakes as he drove them out of Ireland?

    "Are you ok in the back there?"

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Don't mention fluffy bunnies

    "Just mention anything people don't like very much and we'll be fine."

  12. Norman123

    We all should ask XOM to spray our yard/streets/public places with some crude. Who knew oil spills could get rid of venomous snakes. Maybe we should spray the XOM and other oil exec's boardroom with it too to get rid of lying dragons....

  13. Identity


    Just what I'd expect from those greedy f$¢!s... I haven't bought Exxon gas (and later, Mobil) since the Valdez disaster. Do you know that despite adjudication they still haven't paid reparations?

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: Perfect...

      Careful Identity! You might set the spill on fire with that flame.

  14. David Kelly 2

    65 Year Old Pipelines

    The only reason they were using a 65 year old pipeline is that environmentalists won't let them build newer safer pipelines.

    Same reason Japan was using ancient nuclear power plants.

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