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Alyeska, federal regulators reach settlement on January oil leak

Alaska Dispatch

According to Petroleum News, trans-Alaska pipeline operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. and regulators from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have reached a settlement on safety issues brought to light after a January leak at Pump Station 1.

Alyeska signed a "consent agreement" which says it resolves the "notice of proposed safety order" issued to the company Feb. 1 by regulators, who said in the order that their investigation of the leak itself and of "safe operation" more generally identified "multiple conditions ... that pose a pipeline integrity risk." The order focuses primarily on declining throughput, potential corrosion, inaccessible piping, and "cold restart" procedures, and proposes a long list of fixes.

The consent agreement contains no mention of fines, but says that Alyeska faces $100,000 in civil penalties per day, per violation if found non-compliant with a series of work commitments the deal stipulates.

Alyeska spokesperson Katie Peznecker said the company is pleased with reaching a settlement with the PHMSA and that "many of the projects in the consent agreement are projects that have been underway for some time, including efforts to mitigate the compounding technical challenges related to declining throughput and crude oil temperatures, ongoing modifications to our cold restart plan, and work to identify and isolate or replace certain piping on TAPS."

Read much, much more, including details about the work agreements, here.