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Alyeska restarts Trans Alaska Pipeline System

(May 28, 2010) ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alyeska Pipeline Service Company safely restarted the Trans Alaska Pipeline System at 4:40 p.m. today. There were no injuries and no impact to the environment due to the incident or subsequent oil recovery and restart operations. The pipeline was shut down for a total of 79 hours and 40 minutes.

Alyeska initially shut down the pipeline Tuesday morning for a planned six-hour window to perform various work, including testing Pump Station 9’s fire command system. A power failure at the station caused valves that are normally closed on the tank to open, as they are designed to do in power interruptions. Tank 190 subsequently overflowed oil into a containment area surrounding the tank.

With startup now achieved, a crew will staff the pump station 24 hours a day until normal operations resume. About 200 people remain involved in managing the incident. That includes 125 people on site, and a team based in Fairbanks.

This basin is lined with an impermeable liner topped with a layer of gravel. The initial recovery effort was largely mechanical, with trucks suctioning crude oil into container trucks. The crude will be metered, filtered, and ultimately returned into TAPS. Soil and gravel on top of the liner will be cleaned up according to an approved process for handling contaminated material. Alyeska estimates approximately 5,000 barrels were released to containment.

A comprehensive tank safety analysis and remediation will be performed before the tank is returned to normal service.

Throughout the response effort, employees followed a controlled, systematic approach to ensure personnel safety. Risk assessments were conducted for every major step to determine the best course of action.

Overnight progress brings Alyeska closer to pipeline restart

(May 27, 200\10) ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alyeska made significant progress with its spill response operations at Pump Station 9 overnight with crews drawing down oil levels in Tank 190. Full power is restored to the station and plans today include recovery of the spill and decontamination of the containment area, moving toward normal pipeline operations. Alyeska’s response thus far has followed a controlled, systematic approach to ensure personnel safety.

“There was outstanding work accomplished overnight,” said John Baldridge, Pipeline Director and Incident Commander. “At 3 a.m. when power was restored to the station, the facility and the crews were re-energized.”

Baldridge encouraged employees to continue the momentum as work continued today, “being sure to always think about keeping yourselves and your co-workers safe.”

Two of the six steps outlined in the oil spill response strategy have been accomplished: Restoring power to the 65 KW generator and restoring pump station power. Two other steps are underway: Drawing down oil from Tank 190 and removing oil in the tank containment area. As those operations continue, the focus will now be on planning for steps 5 and 6: starting the pipeline and resuming full operations on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning during a planned six-hour pipeline shutdown. Work along the pipeline during this shutdown included testing Pump Station 9’s fire command system. During this work, a power failure at the station caused valves that are normally closed on the tank to open, as they are designed to do if power is interrupted. Tank 190 subsequently overflowed into a containment area that surrounds the tank and has an impermeable liner. There were no injuries or impact to the environment due to the incident.


Alyeska proceeds with 6-step response at Pump Station 9

(May 26, 2010) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alyeska Pipeline is responding to yesterday's incident at Pump Station 9 near Delta Junction, where several thousand barrels of oil spilled to containment. The cleanup and response plan defines six gates that the company will clear before resuming normal operations of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. Safety remains Alyeska's priority, and each gate includes a thorough risk assessment process.


Alyeska cleared the first gate Tuesday evening. The company is now working the remaining five items. The six gates are:


  1. Restoring power to the 65 KW generator at Pump Station 9 which provides power to communication systems at the station. (Completed)

  2. Assessing removal of oil in Tank 190 containment area.

  3. Restoring primary power to Pump Station 9 from Golden Valley Electric Association substation.

  4. Beginning discharge pump operations to draw down the oil level in Tank 190.

  5. Restoring operations of mainline pumps while staffing the station round-the-clock as throughput levels return to normal.

  6. Assuming full operations on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning during a planned six-hour pipeline shutdown. Work along the pipeline during this shutdown included testing Pump Station 9's fire command system. During this work, a power failure at the station caused valves that are normally closed on the tank to open, as they are designed to do if power is interrupted. Tank 190 subsequently overflowed into a containment area that surrounds the tank and has an impermeable liner.


"Alyeska is doing everything we can to safely and effectively respond to this incident," said John Baldridge, Pipeline Director and Incident Commander. "Our team has proven response capabilities and once we have addressed all safety concerns, we will begin clean up and resume normal operations."


Alyeska has people and equipment working at the scene now, and others will be mobilized as needed.


Pipeline shut down after contained spill at Pump Station 9

(May 25, 2010) ANCHORAGE, Alaska – During a scheduled testing of the fire command system at Pump Station 9 today, the station experienced a power failure at approximately 10:20 a.m., resulting in the tank relief valves opening as they are designed to do. Subsequently, Tank 190 overflowed and crude oil was released to secondary containment. This occurred as Alyeska was conducting fire command and valve leak testing at the pump station, located near Delta Junction, during a planned pipeline shutdown.

There were no injuries and personnel have been evacuated. The pipeline is currently shut down and the North Slope Producers have been prorated to 16 percent. An Incident Management Team has been activated to manage the situation. Alyeska estimates that the potential spill volume to containment is up to several thousand barrels. The containment area has a capacity of 104,500 barrels. Additional spill response crews and equipment are en route. More information will be provided when available.

For more information on Alyeska, visit the company’s website at www.alyeska-pipe.com.

Source: Alyeska Pipeline Service Company



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