January 14, 2009
Time to Revisit Maintenence in AK Oil Fields
A AK Department of Environmental Conservation report yesterday on a slightly less than 2000 barrel leak of produced water from a corroded pipeline in an ConocoPhillips Alaskan oil field reminds us that it is not just public infrastructure that needs to be better maintained. Planet Ark reported that a corroded pipeline ruptured on Christmas Day at ConocoPhillips' Kuparuk oil field in Alaska, causing one of the biggest spills of oil-laced water at the field in years. The 94,920-gallon spill from a corroded water-injection pipeline did not affect production from North America's second-biggest field, which has a capacity toproduce nearly 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The December 25 incident was similar to the 200,000-gallon crude oil spill at BP Plc's nearby Prudhoe Bay oil field in 2006 -- the worst oil spill on Alaska's North Slope -- which was also caused by corrosion of a pipeline.
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