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Chevron platform down for 'several weeks'

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chevron's Platform Anna in Cook Inlet will likely remain out of operation for "several weeks" according to a company spokesperson.

Chevron's Roxanne Sinz, in Anchorage, said in an e-mail message earlier this week that she could not be more specific about the timeframe needed to make the fix to a corroded pipeline.

"We are developing a solution that will be acceptable to the Department of Transportation. We expect this fix to take a minimum of several weeks," she said.

She also said that no Chevron employees or indirect employees would be affected by the shut down.

According to Bill Flanders, a spokesperson for the DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, the same corrosion concerns at Anna are unlikely to be as serious in the hundreds of miles of pipeline infrastructure that crisscrosses the Cook Inlet basin.

"I'm not aware of any corrosion defects in this magnitude," he said.

The DOT oversees approximately 7,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines in the state of Alaska.

At this point, Flanders said Chevron must present a solution for approval to the DOT, which could entail "sleaving" the corroded pipe, or inserting a new section of pipe within the old one, among others.

"It's all inside a platform leg and it's not going to be an easy task," Flanders said.

Crude oil production from Anna was suspended on April 30 after the DOT refused to waive a rule to allow a corrosion-thinned pipe supporting the platform to be used.

While the DOT didn't order Chevron to shut down the platform, they did not grant the waiver for continued use of the pipeline and warned the company it could be subject to penalties.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com.



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