From Alyeska: Pipe inspections on terminal finds no repairs needed

Submitted by Alyeska Corporate Communications. 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. … Continue reading

From Alyeska: Alyeska receives Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence

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. … Continue reading

From Alyeska: Alyeska crew carries out pipeline maintenance and response readiness from base in Glennallen

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. … Continue reading

Robotic inspection tool redefines Trans-Alaska Pipeline innovation

From Alyeska: This is a tale of perfect timing and imperfect piping, insistent independence and trusted teamwork, hundreds of hurdles and millions in savings, a simple Russian robot and a seismic company culture shift. This is the story of the Robotic Inline Inspection Tool Team, which received Alyeska’s 2015 Atigun Award for Innovation. The seven team winners, and the dozens of individuals, teams and organizations that supported the effort, were all integral in a game-changing three-year journey that led to the world’s first crawler pig integrity inspection of a liquid pipeline: the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, known as TAPS. In the summer of 2014, a 200-pound Russian-owned robotic crawler pig inspected around 850 feet of 36 inch buried TAPS piping at Pump Station 3, providing a level of clarity on its system integrity that was previously inaccessible. The success of that inspection resulted in reduced risk and significant cost savings for Alyeska and TAPS. It also inspired similar inspections – as well as similar cost savings and risk reduction – in 2015 and the years ahead. “There were so many people and teams involved; we all did our jobs, and we did our jobs well,” said Bhaskar Neogi, Alyeska Senior Director of Risk and Compliance. “But this was also about luck, perseverance, stubbornness not to give up, and a willingness not to worry about if we failed.” … Continue reading