Alyeska plans bypass installation

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Jan. 14 -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. is targeting an early evening Jan. 14 shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to install a 157-ft bypass pipe that would allow the pipeline to resume normal operations. The bypass line will route oil around the section of pipe where the leak occurred.

TAPS has been running at limited capacity since an 84-hr shutdown ended Jan. 11. The pipeline was stopped the morning of Jan. 8 due to a leaking pipe at Pump Station 1 on Alaska’s North Slope, 500 miles north of Fairbanks.

Crews have recovered an estimated 187 bbl of oil from the pump station since the beginning of the incident. As of midday Jan. 13, the pipeline was transporting 320,000 b/d.

Crews have also been monitoring two cleaning pigs making their way down the 800-mile pipeline. The northernmost pig was scheduled to arrive at Pump Station 8, near milepost 489, overnight Jan. 13. Crews planned to hold that pig between two valves in the mainline while routing crude oil through bypass piping, ensuring it doesn’t push any ice or wax that may have accumulated through pump station equipment.

Alyeska says no oil has been discovered outside the building.

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

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