Pipeline Temporarily Shutting Down For Repairs

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Trans Alaska Pipeline is scheduled to be shut down Friday night to address a leaky pipe.  The feeder line is seeping oil at Pump Station One at Prudhoe Bay, and Alyeska spokeswoman Michelle Egan says the plan is to bypass it with a new section of steel pipe that was prefabricated in Fairbanks this week..

It will be the second TAPS shut down this week. The pipeline was idled for 84 hours when the leaky feeder pipe was discovered last Saturday, then re-started at limited throughput due to freeze concerns. Temperatures have cooled considerably on the North Slope in recent days, but Egan says this weekend’s shutdown should be short enough to avert a pipeline freeze up.

Eagan says there are also no longer concerns about ice being pushed by two pipeline cleaning pigs that were in the line.

Meanwhile, workers have picked up thousands of gallons of leaked crude this week at Prudhoe Bay, as it’s seeped from the bad feeder line into the basement of a pump house.  No oil has escaped to the environment, but the situation has substantially reduced Alaska crude production, and mobilized an over 500 person response.

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