Alaska Pipeline Remains Closed, Restart Date Difficult to Predict

Added by on January 8, 2011

A leak caused the Trans Alaska pipeline to be closed on Saturday and it remained closed on Sunday as well.

While prices started rising as there were fears of a prolonged closure, the operators including BP came in for intense criticism.

Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline

Image by rickz via Flickr

The leak was found at the start of the pipeline in Prudhoe Bay.

All production has been cut down to just five percent of the daily average of 630,000 barrels.

This pipeline carries about twelve percent of the country’s entire oil production. This is the third major shutdown since 2006 when more than 200,000 gallons of oil leaked and this caused a 79 hour shutdown.

The pipeline, carrying oil to the port of Valdez was shutdown in May 2010 when more than 200,000 gallons of oils flowed out after a power shutdown led to leakage from storage tanks of a Pump Station.

The leakage was found in the basement of a booster pump machine-housing and, soon after the leak was discovered, the shutdown was ordered. There is no evidence that the oil has seeped out of the concrete that encases the piping. Close to ten barrels of oil has been recovered till date.

The shutdown marks a turbulent start for the year for BP, which was the target of intense criticism over the oil spill that took place in one of its well last year.

Enhanced by Zemanta