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Power outage, spill shuts down Alaska oil pipeline
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 25 (Reuters) - A power outage and resulting oil spill forced the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to shut down on Tuesday, the operator of the 800-mile (1,287 km) oil line said.
The shutdown followed a series of mishaps that resulted from a scheduled fire-command system test at Pump Station 9, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, said Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, the system's operator.
The power outage triggered opening of relief valves, causing an unspecified volume of crude oil to overflow a storage tank into a secondary containment. There were no injuries, but the work site was evacuated, Alyeska said.
North Slope oil producers have been instructed to cut their flow to 16 percent of their normal rates, Alyeska said.
Alyeska is a consortium owned by five oil companies. Major owners are BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research), ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research). Unocal and Koch hold minor shares.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to the tanker port of Valdez, normally ships about 667,000 barrels of oil daily.
The volume of spilled oil is unknown, but estimated at "several thousand barrels".
All has been held within the secondary containment, which has capacity to hold 104,500 barrels, [Alyeska spokeswoman Michele Egan]...said. The amount spilled is "nowhere near" the containment area's capacity, she added.
Originally posted by loam
Btw, what do you suppose they mean by "a secondary containment"?
[edit on 25-5-2010 by loam]