BP, state say corrosion caused pipeline rupture

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Corrosion caused the rupture of an oil pipeline last week at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, according to state regulators and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.

The rupture blew out the wall of a well house and sprayed 84 gallons of an oil and water mix across 95 acres of snow-covered tundra. Crews were finishing the cleanup Wednesday, the state said.

BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said Prudhoe wellheads are equipped with systems that inject chemicals to fight corrosion. But the injection system was downstream on the line that ruptured, he said.

BP plans to relocate injection systems at some Prudhoe wells, Chappell said.

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