Mike Day, Operations Manager for Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System.
My name is Mike Day and I’m the accountable manager for the marine services transition, which means that I oversee the internal Alyeska transition team and work with Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, to make sure they’re ready to provide services in Prince William Sound in 2018. As a lifelong resident of Prince William Sound, it’s incredibly important to me that we are successful.
I recently spent a few days at ECO facilities to monitor the work. ECO is building nine new tugs for Alyeska, and construction is progressing on schedule. They will be built at Edison Chouest shipyards in Louisiana and Mississippi, before completing extensive sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico or Puget Sound, and additional tests in Prince William Sound.
This summer, Alyeska’s multi-year internal inspection program of Valdez Marine Terminal piping included inspecting buried relief system and crude oil piping in and around the East Metering building, and from West Metering to the end of Berth 5. Much of this piping is encased in concrete and was considered “uninspectable” until recent advances in inspection technology.
Crews started in the spring, working in and around the East Metering building where oil enters the Terminal and is measured as part of the pipeline leak detection system. They built containment and installed equipment to allow for system isolation. The roof was modified so cranes could remove large segments of pipe from the building and return them after the inspection.
During a scheduled maintenance shutdown in June, TAPS personnel drained down and isolated the impacted piping around East Metering. Once the shutdown was completed, a contractor cleaned the pipe with special equipment that limited physical entry into the pipe. Crews removed several 90-degree pipe segments to create access points for the crawler pig (see photos) that carries the inspection tool through the pipe. Pigs inspected approximately 2,100 feet of pipe ranging from 16 to 36 inches in diameter.
Alyeska integrity management staff analyzed the data, and found no needed repairs and no significant impact to pipeline or Terminal operations. The piping has returned to service.
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was recognized with a Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence for the second year in a row at the recent Alaska Governor’s Safety & Health Conference in Anchorage.
“This is exciting because these awards aren’t just based on successful safety programs, but also on a company’s culture of safety,” said Brian Beauvais, Alyeska’s Senior Health and Safety Manager, Risk and Technical. “At Alyeska and on TAPS, people are making safety a priority.”
The Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence honors an organization’s safety and health systems that protect their employees in the workplace and promote corporate citizenship. Alyeska has received this award in the past, as well.
The TAPS workforce completed its best safety year ever in 2015. Alyeska staff and TAPS contractors worked a combined 5,827,988 hours and had just four recordable injuries while avoiding any days away from work cases during that time.
The Glennallen Response Base is located in Alaska’s Interior, a little over 100 miles north of Valdez. Originally designated as Pump Station 11, the facility was constructed as a response and maintenance base after it was decided that another pump station wasn’t necessary. Now, a small Alyeska team, supported by a focused and energetic Ahtna baseline crew, coordinates and carries out maintenance and prevention activities along the pipeline right of way, while maintaining a constant state of oil spill response readiness. Their accountable area stretches from south of Paxson all the way to the gate of the Valdez Marine Terminal.