Nevada declares state of emergency after oil pipeline leak in California

A state of emergency has been imposed in Nevada after a leak was detected in a pipeline that supplies fuel to Las Vegas.

Nevada governor Joe Lombardo announced the state of emergency late on Friday night to “mitigate the impact of the California fuel pipeline leak in Southern Nevada”.

The leak was detected in the pipeline on Thursday at a pumping station in Long Beach, California, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the operator of the affected pipeline, stated.

A company spokesperson announced that both the station and the pipeline were isolated and shut down.

In a subsequent statement on Saturday, the spokesperson mentioned that the leak’s source had been isolated, and “restart activities” had commenced.

“We expect these pipelines to resume operations this afternoon and begin delivering fuel to their respective market areas later today,” the company’s spokesperson Katherine Hill said.

Officials in Clark County, Nevada have said that the emergency declaration would enable the state to relax restrictions on trucking and other delivery methods to transport fuel into the county.

“This leak has not impacted the supply of fuel, but rather the method in which this fuel normally comes into Southern Nevada,” county officials said in a tweet.

“Clark County is in regular communication with Kinder Morgan and they are working as quickly as possible to repair the leak.”

Mr Lombardo urged residents not to indulge in panic buying to avoid unwarranted shortages. However, social media videos and local media reports showed queues of cars lining up at local gas stations.

Nye County officials announced to its residents on Saturday afternoon that fuel systems were returning online following the shutdown.

“Fuel should be flowing within the next few hours,” the county tweeted, telling residents “to delay fuel purchases if possible to allow supply to refill due to recent panic purchasing.”

The operator has confirmed that it is still investigating the leak’s cause and quantity and has notified the appropriate regulatory agencies.