Skip to comments.Editorial: Don't Let Alaska Oil Pipeline Shut Down
Posted on 05/17/2011 6:45:40 PM PDT by Kaslin
Energy: Lack of oil volume due to administration bans on new Alaskan drilling may force the shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, denying us even the tens of billions of barrels left in already developed fields.
The Trans-Alaskan pipeline is dying, another casualty of the Obama administration's war on domestic fossil fuel energy and its deliberate effort to drive up energy prices to make so-called "green" energy alternatives more attractive.
It was built to handle the oil produced on Alaska's North Slope at Prudhoe Bay and was a marvel of American engineering and exceptionalism. When oil exploration began in Prudhoe Bay, 60 miles east of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more than three decades ago, environmentalists claimed it would yield only a "few months' supply" of oil and would wreck the ecosystem.
Prudhoe Bay turned out to be the largest oil find ever in North America. It has in fact supplied an average of 9%, and as much as 12%, of our daily consumption since its inception and is among the most environmentally sensitive oil operations in the world. Caribou frolic and play by the pipeline, and the herds have thrived.
At its peak, the pipeline carried 2 million barrels of oil a day, 3% of the world's crude, to the port of Valdez 800 miles away, taking just three days to do so.
As oilfields do over time, Prudhoe Bay's output is declining, even though there's plenty of oil left. But it soon may not be enough to keep the Alaskan pipeline open.
With the pipeline carrying just a third of its peak volume, the pressure drops, so the crude takes five times as long to make the journey and sometimes arrives at a mere 40 degrees vs. the normal 100 degrees.
(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...
Hang tough. That monster, his administration, and the dim senate will be gone in about 500 days. We can cover that time standing on our heads.
The pipe is over thirty years old, the original life expectancy was 2011, it can no longer stand the pressure of the peak in 2009, even if the oil was there.
The oil Company can shut down and do extensive
repairs/replacements as needed.
Actually, there was never a definitive lifetime on the pipeline. It can last a 100 years or more under the right circumstances. There was an estimate on how much oil was there, which has been greatly exceeded. Also, for a number of reasons (properties of the oil and fluid dynamics) a lower volume of oil creates more maintenance issues for the pipeline and it associated equipment than a high volume of oil does.
Say it aint so, Joe
WHY should this even BE an issue?
Oh, wait. I was living in The Real World for a moment there...
500 days. Wake me when it’s OVER, LOL!
Wait until those “green” 100-watt light bulbs hit the shelves in January that everyone will be force to buy at $50 a pop. That will be the end of the environmentalists.
That situation is not improved under the current administration, with huge acreage having recently been set aside as critical polar bear habitat (I guess the dumps by Churchill Manitoba just aren't feeding well enough these days), and the postage stamp in a football field part of ANWR still out of bounds, and the offshore moratorium still felt in the region. It wasn't just the deepwater patch in the Gulf that flet that one.
It isn't hard to see tha maintenance issues created by reduced flow: it is harder to keep pressures constant in a multiphase system with low flow, thermal loss would cause fouling in the line (meaning more pigs would have to be run to keep the line clear), etc.
This is a wet dream for the Obamites, but would be another nail in America's energy coffin.
Don’t worry everyone.
There WILL be plenty of oil for the commissars
in the Ministries of Energy, Food, Housing
(Have faith in your Progressive masters.)
No, life expectancy is not the same as the design criteria. The main pump stations have been recently replaced. The pipeline is not going to soon fall apart.
Rust is rust, and a lot of the pipe is below ground. Just a fact of life.
And all of that pipe has cathodic protection and monitoring.
Please understand that we have pipelines carrying oil/gas/products in the US that were built in the 1940s. And those were basic steel, not the alloys available to us today. Properly maintained and monitored, pipelines will last many, many decades.
The Big Inch and the Little Big Inch pipelines are still in operation today, although they have been converted to Natural Gas Service.
Oh, I can’t WAIT to see the look on the Boy King’s face when it all goes away...LOL!
Where’s my Kobe Beef? Where’s my d@mn ice cream? Where’s my air-o-plane? *SMIRK*