Monday, March 2, 2009

Alaska chides BP for mistakes leading to pipe blast on North Slope

ANCHORAGE - The Alaskan state government's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office has criticized maintenance procedures at BP PLC's Prudhoe Bay oil field that led to a potentially life-threatening gas pipeline explosion last year.
"The portion of the pipeline that ruptured went 10 years between (corrosion) inspections," said a letter from PSIO coordinator Allison Iversen to BP Exploration Alaska Senior Vice President Tony Brock dated Feb. 20. It is vital that BP, "implement a process to track and close out missed corrosion time to prevent a similar incident," Iversen said.
She gave BP until May 15 to take all necessary corrective action.
Iversen also said she was "deeply concerned with the timeliness and depth of the incident investigation related to this event." The pipe ruptured on Sept. 29, 2008, but BP's review summary was not submitted until Jan. 13.
The letter was posted on the PSIO Web site.

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