Alyeska pipeline shut down after contained crude spill

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, May 28 -- A power failure prompted the May 25 shutdown of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.’s Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. During scheduled testing of the fire command system at Pump Station 9, the station experienced a power failure, resulting in tank relief valves opening as designed. Tank 190 subsequently overflowed and crude oil was released to secondary containment surrounding the tank and lined with what Alyeska describes as an impermeable barrier.

The incident occurred as Alyeska was conducting fire command and valve leak testing at the pump station, located near Delta Junction, during a planned 6-hr shutdown. The were no injuries and Alyeska evacuated personnel.

The shutdown caused Alaska North Slope producers to be prorated to 16%. Alyeska estimates up to several thousand barrels spilled into the 104,500-bbl capacity containment area.

Overnight May 26-27 crews drew down oil levels in Tank 190 and restored full power to the station from its 65-kw generator, with recovery of the spill and decontamination of the containment area the next steps in movement toward normal pipeline operations, according to Alyeska.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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