Tesoro planing pipeline repairs

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tesoro Alaska will conduct "proactive maintenance" on its under water pipeline that transports jet fuel, diesel and gasoline to the Port of Anchorage this summer, said Steve Hansen, vice president of refining for Tesoro Alaska.

Tesoro has an oil refinery in Nikiski.

Replaced will be 6,800 feet of the 68-mile pipeline.

Hansen said the bulk of the construction will take place in June and will take about three weeks. The company is conducting this proactive maintenance to ensure the long-term integrity of the line, he said.

"We have a responsibility to make sure that line is always in the best condition," Hansen said.

The pipeline starts at Point Possession on the northern Kenai Peninsula and travels under water in Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm to the Port of Anchorage.

The pipeline carries about 1,600 to 1,800 barrels of fuel per hour, the bulk of it jet fuel, Hansen said. During construction, provisions will be made to ensure the demands of the marketplace are met, he said.

It is not unusual for companies to conduct this type of maintenance on their pipelines, said Michael Munger, executive director of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council. He said it is always good to take proactive measures to prevent a spill.

CIRCAC is a federally mandated nonprofit organization that represents the citizens of the inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations on the inlet.

While refined products, such as gasoline, are easier to clean up than crude oil, the pipeline goes through an area with strong currents and tidal fluctuations, he said. This would make a spill in that area difficult to clean up, he said.

"Anytime a company conducts activities in that regard it's a very proactive approach," Munger said. "I applaud Tesoro for their approach."

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