August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8

In The News

Trans-Alaska Pipeline Study Examines Low-flow Safety Issues

A study done for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. concludes that the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)  can be operated safely down to 350,000 bpd if measures are taken to prevent ice and wax buildup and corrosion, problems that accompany low flow. Alaska’s U.S. senators said the study is a wake-up call to find more sources of oil for the line before low flow causes operators to close it because it cannot be effectively operated. “If we don’t act quickly to get more oil in the pipeline, that could go away in just a decade,” said Democrat Mark Begich, calling the pipeline a national asset that delivers about 12% of U.S. oil production. “

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