Tesoro examines battered pipe near Nikiski home

Posted: Thursday, November 07, 2002

A gaping ditch in front of Jack Brewer's house on Alexander Road in Nikiski exposed 16-inch high pressure piping Tuesday night under the light of a mobile gas engine-powered, high-density lamp.

A hand-size chunk was missing from its outer layer and the pipe was bent slightly at a coupling point.

"Last Wednesday, they dug up a hole and patched the pipe about 300 feet up," Brewer said.

Tesoro Vice President Ron Noel said recently acquired results from a pigging operation earlier this spring unearthed an "anomaly" in the pipes in that area.

"Something wasn't just right," Noel said. "What they discovered was that in that area, someone was in there with a backhoe."

The pipe being examined connects the Swanson River oil field with the Kenai Pipeline Company dock on Cook Inlet.

"There didn't seem to be a leak," he said.

Noel said the location and inspection project took longer than expected because the line was coated with asbestos and first had to be handled by special contractors trained to deal with that material. But he said the crew inspecting the line discovered no environmental or health danger.

"My understanding is that it is not hazardous," Noel said.

He said the pipe will be fitted with a welded steel sleeve in the spots where there was damage and that work should be completed by Saturday at the latest.

Brewer, the owner of the property the digging is adjacent to, expressed some doubts about Tesoro's work.

"I hope they do this right," he said. "If that's how our oil company is doing (things), we don't want them in ANWR."

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