Alyeska addressing Trans Alaska Pipeline crude leak

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Jan. 10 -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. shut the 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline at about 8:50 a.m. local time on Jan. 8 following discovery of a crude oil spill in the booster pump room basement at Pump Station 1, Prudhoe Bay. Alyeska prorated producers to 5% of typically transported volumes (671,000 b/d in 2010).

By the morning of Jan. 9, crews had recovered about 90% of the oil spilled at the station, amounting to an estimated 9-10 bbl, according to Alyeska. Engineers were evaluating options to restart the line, including possible bypasses of the affected piping, and planning a leak test.

TAPS runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, where the transported crude is loaded onto tankers for shipment. Tankers at Valdez are so far being loaded from storage, with produced crude being placed into storage at Prudhoe Bay. Alyeska provided no estimate regarding when the pipeline would reopen.

The majority of Alyeska is owned by BP PLC (47%), ConocoPhillips (28%), and ExxonMobil Corp. (20%).

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

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