Pipeline regulators looking at alleged code violations at North Pole

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Pipeline regulators are investigating allegations of code and safety violations at the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s North Pole metering facility where a spur from the main pipeline feeds the area's two refineries.

Rhea DoBosh, a spokeswoman for the Joint Pipeline Office, said the alleged infractions at the still-under-construction facility are minor and may not amount to much.

''We want to know if there's some substantiation or not,'' she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. ''We're not just going to sit idly by and say it's all under control.''

The alleged violations deal with some electrical work done over the past year at the metering facility, which received some new, expanded-capacity meters and a new building, DeBosh said.

She declined to say whether the allegations came from one person or a group, or how the complainant was associated with the refineries or Alyeska.

The integrity of the meters and the overall trans-Alaska oil pipeline are not in question, DeBosh said.

A spur from the 800-mile main pipeline feeds refineries run by Williams Alaska Petroleum Co. and Sourdough Fuel, both of which had sought more capacity.

The meters measure crude oil flowing out to the plants and any surplus returned to the pipeline.

Alyeska, which runs the metering system, finished most of the expansion work last year.

A list of 122 items remains to be addressed, and the company is confident that will catch any alleged shortcomings, Alyeska spokesman Tim Woolston said.

''We have not closed out the project,'' he said. ''We're working down that list. Not 'til all these items are completed will the project be closed.''

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