Alyeska Trans Alaska pipeline safely restarts after scheduled shutdown

Source: Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Alyeska  reports that it safely restarted the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Sunday  following a successful scheduled maintenance shutdown. The pipeline shut down at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday, June 19, for a 36-hour period.

Alyeska, the pipeline operator, completed various projects during the shutdown. At Pump Station 1, the incoming Kuparuk pipeline connection to TAPS was rerouted to a new aboveground line. At Pump Station 4, the piping to the unused legacy pump house was disconnected. Also at Pump Station 4, crews replaced two large valves used to receive the cleaning and inline inspection (ILI) devices commonly known as “pigs.” These devices are periodically launched from Pump Station 1.

Other projects were completed at Pump Stations 5, 7, 9 and at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Alyeska conducts line-wide shutdowns annually to allow maintenance crews time to work on projects simultaneously along the pipeline and at the terminal. These shutdowns coincide with the producers’ routine maintenance on equipment and facilities on the North Slope. A second summer maintenance shutdown is scheduled for July 31-August 1.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline System runs 800-miles long beginning in Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope south to the Port of Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the United States. The pipeline crosses three mountain ranges and 34 major rivers and streams. Alyeska operates out of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez and at various facilities along the line. TAPS carries approximately 15 percent of the nation’s domestic oil production and has transported more than 15 billion barrels of crude oil.

Alyeska was created to construct, operate, and maintain TAPS for the owner companies. The current TAPS owners are BP Pipelines (Alaska), ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, Unocal Pipeline Company, and Koch Alaska Pipeline Company.

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