At noon on Jan. 12, the oil flow through the TAPS line was running at 400,000 b/d. Producers were supplying anywhere from 330,000 to 350,000 b/d (roughly half the typical flow from
Prior to the leak, TAPS was transporting 630,000 b/d from
The amount of leaking oil worsened when the pipeline was restarted. More than 2,300 gallons of oil flowed into an 800-gallon containment tank between 8 p.m. Jan. 11 and 4 p.m. Jan. 12, and vacuum trucks were continuously removing it, said Stefani Bell of Alyeska Pipeline Co. The amount is about half of what has leaked from the broken pipe so far.
Personnel were able to keep the overflow to just an inch deep in the five-foot tank.
Crews are performing various tasks to mitigate risks associated with having the pipeline shut during the cold Alaskan winter.
Two pipeline cleaning pigs, likely to have posed a problem had they been left in the cold line, have been located within the system, and are expected to be extracted mid-day on Jan. 13.
Additionally, personnel are working to prevent the buildup of wax and ice in the pipeline by restoring the oil flow.
About 100 people are working in
The pipeline will again be shut down on Jan. 14 to prepare for the tie-in of the pipeline bypass.