BP seeks DOT nod to resume Prudhoe Bay production

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 15 -- BP PLC submitted an application Sept. 13 to the US Department of Transportation requesting authorization to resume production in the Eastern Operating Area (EOA) of Prudhoe Bay for the purposes of pigging.

"Although this is an encouraging development, it is the first step of many," BP said. 'Work continues on a number of bypass projects, and we expect these to be ready by the end of October. BP has also committed to completely replace 16 miles of Prudhoe Bay OTLs [oil transit lines] this winter."

Meanwhile, Prudhoe Bay's production is up to about 250,000 b/d. Part of the field has been shut-down since early August because of severe corrosion problems discovered in OTLs.

Inspections
Inspection of the integrity of the oil transit lines in Prudhoe Bay continues to advance. BP has completed more than 6,662 ft (26%) of ultrasonic (UT) inspections in the EOA. The company excavated three caribou crossings and a number of culverts for additional Western Operating Area (WOA) inspections.

Inspections have restarted in the WOA after the completion of the first tranche of asbestos-handling training for UT and insulation stripping crews. More than 5,813 ft (23%) of UT inspections has been done in the WOA.

"In both EOA and WOA inspections, our results continue to show no significant anomalies have been found, outside of those identified in the original pig run," the company said.

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