Alyeska restarts Trans Alaska Pipeline System after oil leak

Source: Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company safely restarted the Trans Alaska Pipeline System at 4:40 p.m. Friday. 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.

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