Piping inspections near completion

By Austin Love Council Project Manager For the first time since the facility’s construction was completed in 1977, a majority of the large diameter crude oil piping at Alyeska’s Valdez Marine Terminal is undergoing a comprehensive inspection, both externally and internally. The inspections of these 36 and 48 inch diameter pipes began in 2016, and will be completed by the end of 2018. Alyeska can use the data from these inspections to evaluate the current, complete condition of the large diameter piping used to move Alaska North Slope Crude onto tanker ships at the terminal. A tremendous amount of work by Alyeska and their contractors is making these inspections possible: Concrete foundations had to be reinforced to accommodate loading stresses associated with the inspections; Piping inspection tool access and retrieval points had to be created at multiple locations; Sharp bends and large valves had to be removed from certain piping sections to allow for the passage of inspection equipment; The piping has to be cleaned of accumulated wax and debris after 40 years of use; and With the exception of a few necessary, planned pipeline shutdowns, most of this work was done while crude oil was still flowing through the pipeline and tank ships were still loading. Print PDF … Continue reading

New tech improves knowledge of water circulation in Port Valdez

By Jeremy Robida Council Project Manager This year, the Council completed a multi-year study with the Prince William Sound Science Center to better understand how water circulates within Port Valdez. The study documented seasonal changes to the circulation due to fresh water runoff in spring and summer as well as seasonal wind patterns. The data from this project will help improve oil spill prevention and response planning. Knowing how sea currents and wind affects oil movement on water, as well as the effects on consistency and amount of water mixing into the oil, in turn affects how an oil spill is contained and cleaned up. Print PDF … Continue reading

Community Corner: Devoted to the cause of safe oil transportation

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator The Council is exceedingly lucky to have volunteers who spend precious time and provide invaluable expertise toward our mission, some of whom have volunteered for decades. Their dedication to the safe transportation of oil through Prince William Sound is both remarkable and essential to the Council’s mission. Long-term volunteers can see projects through from beginning to end. They possess a unique perspective on how changes in the region’s prevention and response system have improved over the years. Long-term volunteers also help preserve the Council’s history, reminding us all of how, and why, our positions and policies have been shaped as they have over the years. Many examples of how these volunteers have influenced today’s Council are exemplified in their personal stories, especially those who have spent over 20 years working on behalf of the Council and its mission. Print PDF … Continue reading

Schantz: Prevention and response improving, full capabilities not yet proven

By Donna Schantz Executive Director The Council is pleased to say that the recent transition of prevention and response services to Edison Chouest Offshore will bring many improvements in Alyeska’s capabilities to protect Prince William Sound and its downstream communities. Alyeska and the Prince William Sound oil shippers are to be commended for their significant investment and commitment in the new vessels, equipment, and crews. Details provided by Alyeska show that the new vessels, built specifically for Prince William Sound, will have new technologies to improve safety for the crews and boost spill prevention and response capabilities. A few notable examples include: The new render-recover winches which the Council has been promoting for years Response barges with decks specifically designed to deploy and retrieve oil skimming equipment, maximizing safety for crews We recognize and appreciate the details about the safety enhancements we have seen so far. Print PDF … Continue reading