PHMSA orders BP to conduct further ANS inspections

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 11 -- The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued new orders to BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. on Aug. 10, requiring additional rigorous inspections of the company's entire Alaskan North Slope crude pipeline network and outlining safety criteria that the BP PLC division must meet before it can restart its downed line there.

BP Alaska must conduct four daily surveys of all its low-pressure lines in the North Slope, including the eastern operating line, where the company this week halted operations due to a leak and extensive pipeline corrosion, PHMSA Administrator Thomas J. Barrett said. The company will be required to use special heat-seeking infrared equipment to spot leaks and conduct visual walking, driving, or flying surveys up and down the entire 22-mile length of the system, he added.

The Department of Transportation agency's order also directs BP to strip the insulation from its western operating line at the Prudhoe Bay field, which may continue to move oil, and conduct an ultrasonic test to obtain a complete picture of the line's conditions, Barrett said.

It also requires BP to conduct a series of diagnostic tests to ensure the eastern operating line has been fully inspected and that any defects are repaired to strict federal standards prior to considering any return of service to the eastern line. In addition, the order directs BP to provide PHMSA its plans to replace or restore the eastern line within 30 days.

"Our first priority is the continued safe operation and reliability of all BP lines located on the North Slope," Barrett said. "These new orders will help ensure BP's current operations remain safe as we work to restore full service along these lines as quickly and safely as possible."

BP's response
Steve Marshall, president of BP Alaska, confirmed the company had received the latest PHMSA order and would fully comply with it. "We are analyzing the [order] and determining the actions and resources required to continue use of oil transit lines on the western half of the field," he said.

Marshall said that BP Alaska was pleased that PHMSA said it was not aware of any data concerning the condition of pipe in the western operating area, which would require an immediate shutdown there. He said that the company expects to reach a decision whether it can continue safely operating the western portion of the system by early next week.

"Our priorities moving forward remain to assure the safety and integrity of our operating infrastructure, minimize impact on the environment, continue the cooperative working relationship with the relevant agencies, and restore production as soon as it is safely possible," Marshall said.

PHMSA's latest order is the third directive this year from the federal pipeline safety office requiring stepped up inspections of BP's Prudhoe Bay pipelines.

The original order was a result of a pipeline failure along the field's western line on Mar. 2, which resulted in about 5,000 bbl of crude being spilled. It was amended on July 20 with additional requirements.

Inspectors from the agency have been at Prudhoe Bay since March to review pipeline operations, meet with federal and state officials, and ensure completion of the corrective actions required by the agency's orders, Barrett said.

PHMSA will continue to coordinate its actions with the federal-state Joint Pipeline Office and with numerous federal and state agencies that oversee the safety on Alaska's North Slope, he indicated.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

Related Articles

WAFWA: Aerial survey finds lesser prairie chicken population grew

07/06/2015 A recent range-wide aerial survey found the lesser prairie chicken population rose 25% from 2014 to 2015, the Western Association of Fish & Wil...

Buru awarded onshore Canning licenses

07/06/2015 Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, and Mitsubish Corp. have been granted two production licenses for Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Western...

Cenovus sells royalty business for $3.3 billion

07/06/2015 Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, inked an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Heritage Royalty LP to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for gros...

CERI: Energy, operational efficiencies possible in Canadian oil, gas

07/06/2015 Measures can be taken by operators in the expanding resource-intensive Canadian oil and gas sector to improve both energy efficiency and operationa...

AGL Energy to scale back upstream gas operations

07/06/2015

Gas retailer AGL Energy Ltd., Sydney, says it will exit the oil business and massively scaling back its upstream gas operations.

Macondo settlement seen ‘positive’ for BP

07/06/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc.’s recent agreement to settle federal and state claims related to the 2010 Macondo blowout and spill improves t...

US House committee leaders send letters to Plains, PHMSA about leak

07/06/2015 US House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders from both parties asked Plains Pipeline LP and the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Admini...

Linn Energy, Quantum complete AcqCo deal

07/06/2015 Linn Energy LLC, affiliate LinnCo LLC, and Quantum Energy Partners have signed definitive agreements to fund the acquisition and development of oil...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices fall on rise in US rig count

07/06/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices edged down going into the July 4 holiday weekend on the New York market after Baker Hughes Inc. reported July 2 th...
White Papers

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected