Alaska oil pipeline being restarted

The trans-Alaska pipeline was in the process of being restarted Wednesday after having been shut since an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude rocked central Alaska Sunday.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 6, UPDATE -- The trans-Alaska pipeline was in the process of being restarted Wednesday after having been shut since an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude rocked central Alaska Sunday.

"Maintenance and engineering crews have made a myriad of repairs and conducted dozens of tests on the pipeline," said a Aleyska Pipieline Service Co. news release. No leaks were detected, although oil spill response crews were on stand-by notice while the pipeline was restarted.

Temporary supports have been placed under areas of the pipeline affected by the earthquake. Two sections of the pipeline were pressure tested before beginning the restart, which was expected to take about 6 hr.

"Alyeska is using oil stored in the tanks at Pump One to fill a portion of the pipeline. This limited pumping will make room for oil coming in from North Slope oil producers," the news release said.

Between the time of the earthquake and Wednesday morning, one oil tanker was loaded out of Valdez. The oil inventory, already low at the time of the earthquake, had been depleted, but tanker loading was expected to resume late Wednesday pending completion of the pipeline reopening.
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Alaska oil pipeline remains shut following earthquake

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 4 -- The trans-Alaska pipeline remained shut Monday following an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that rocked central Alaska Sunday.

BP PLC, a main producer on Alaska's North Slope, confirmed North Slope producers have shut in all but 5% of their 1 million b/d of oil production. No damage to BP facilities or operations was reported, a spokeswoman in New York said, adding, "We're doing this just as a precaution."

Aleyska Pipeline spokesman Mike Heatwole in Anchorage said no pipeline leaks had been detected. Engineering assessments of the pipeline, pipeline bridges, and other supporting structures were under way.

The quake reportedly triggered a detection system, and the pipeline was shut down at 5:13 p.m. EST Sunday.

Some pipeline support structures were displaced during the earthquake. At eight locations, shoes were on the ground. Shoes allow the pipeline to slide along the crossbeams in between the vertical supports, an Alyeska Pipeline news release said Monday.

At five locations, crossbeams were on the ground. The shoes and crossbeams are part of the support assembly for aboveground pipe, the news release added.

Oil reserves are stored at the shipping terminal in Valdez so the pipeline oil flow can be stopped without immediately affecting oil deliveries.

Tesoro Petroleum Corp., San Antonio, Monday announced its Alaskan operations did not incur any damage from the earthquake. The company owns a 72,000 b/d refinery at Kenai.

The refinery did not experience any shutdowns and is running at seasonally normal levels, the company said. Additionally, the company reported that its crude and product pipeline system and network of retail outlets were unaffecte

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