BP’s Alaskan Pipeline At Risk of Rupture

November 3, 2010

(ChattahBox U.S. News) – Receiving an “F” in most situations is tantamount to failing – and that’s just what many of BP’s Alaskan pipes appear to be doing, the Washington Post reports. BP recently assessed at least 148 of its pipelines on the Alaskan North Slope as “F-rank,” meaning that corrosion has infected more than 80 percent of the pipe’s wall, in many cases wearing down to a few thousandths of an inch of bursting.

Making matters worse, the thinning pipes are paired with aging turbines, as well as oil and waste holding tanks that are nearing the end of their life cycles. Add to that the fact that BP’s fire and gas warning systems have been deemed “unreliable” by BP workers, and a potential disaster could be looming in Alaska. In fact, some BP technicians indicate that fire and gas alarms are down about 30 percent of the time, and during those periods, BP uses “human fire detectors” in their place—a person that “sniffs for flammable materials and listens for the hiss of broken pipes,” the Post reports.

BP acknowledges that its Oct. 1 internal maintenance report (which was obtained by journalism group ProPublica) did include some F-rankings, but the company spokesman also noted that F-rankings do not necessarily indicate current safety risk and said that BP will repair the defective lines and equipment, the Post indicates.


Comments

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.