9/12/06   Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee BP pipeline failure in the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field on the U.S. oil supply

http://energy.senate.gov/public/

 

Ret. Vice Admiral Thomas Barrett USCG USCG, Administrator,

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

9_12_06 Written Statement of Thomas Barrett at US Sen Energy & Nat Resources BP Hearing.doc

 

Dr. Howard Gruenspecht , Deputy Administrator,

Energy Information Administration

9_12_06 Written Statement of Howard Guehspectht at US Sen Energy & Nat Resources BP Hearing.pdf

 

Mr. Robert Malone , President and Chairman , BP American, Inc.

9_12_06 Written Testimony of Robert Malone at US Sen Energy & Nat Resources BP Hearing.pdf

 

Mr. Kevin Hostler , President and CEO, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

9_12_06 Written Testimony of Kevin Hostler at US Sen Energy & Nat Resources BP Hearing.pdf

 

Mr. Peter Van Tuyn , Partner, Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC

9_12_06 Written Testimony of Peter Van Tuyn at US Sen Energy & Nat Resources BP Hearing.doc

 

 

 

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Republican Pres Release

http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Home&Party=1

 

Contact: Marnie Funk

Phone: 202-224-6977

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Schedule for the Week of September 11 

 

 Washington, D.C. – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting and two full committee hearings next week.

 

A full committee hearing will be held Tuesday, September 12, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. in SD-106. The purpose of this legislative hearing is to receive testimony relating to the effects of the BP pipeline failure in the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field on the U.S. oil supply and to examine what steps may be taken to prevent a recurrence of such an event.

 

Invited Witnesses Include:

 

Mr. Robert Malone

President and Chairman

BP American, Inc.

Houston, TX

 

Mr. Kevin Hostler

President and CEO

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Anchorage, AK

 

Dr. Howard Gruenspecht

Deputy Administrator

Energy Information Administration

Department of Energy

 

Ret. Vice Admiral Thomas Barrett, USCG Administrator

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Department of Transportation

 

Mr. Peter Van Tuyn

Partner

Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC

Anchorage, AK

 

 

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Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

 

Democratic Press Release

http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Home&Party=0

 

Committee Leaders Seek Answers on BP Pipeline 

 

August 11th, 2006

 

Senators Seek Answers on BP Pipeline Situation in Alaska

Seeming Inaction on Maintenance Deemed ‘Inexcusable’  

 

U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today wrote to Federal regulators requesting information on oversight of the failing petroleum pipelines serving Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

 

The Senators are asking Thomas J. Barrett, administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation, to provide information related to shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field because of extensive corrosion in major segments of the pipeline held by British Petroleum (BP) Exploration Alaska Inc.

 

“We are concerned by reports of significant pipeline corrosion in the Eastern Operating Area of Prudhoe Bay, as well as previously known corrosion in the Western Operating Area, as discovered in the March 2006 spill of approximately 5,000 barrels of oil,” the Senators wrote Barrett.  “Additionally, early reports of the discovery of 16 anomalies at 12 locations in a three-mile area of the Eastern Area are distressing, and, if true, inexcusable.”

 

Domenici and Bingaman recommended a full investigation into the initial reports that BP failed to use internal inspection devices, so-called smart pigs, in the Eastern Area in a timely manner.

 

“It seems to us that this failure should not have happened.  Therefore, we ask what should have been done to prevent this from happening and what should be done to prevent it from happening in the future,” the Senators wrote.

 

“We urge your continued attention to this issue and request that you keep us fully apprised of the Prudhoe Bay situation.  We will continue to monitor this situation, and, if necessary, we will take appropriate action,” they concluded.

 

Here’s the full letter:

 

August 10, 2006

 

Vice Admiral Thomas J. Barrett, USCG (Ret.)

Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Department of Transportation

400 7th Street, S.W.

Washington D.C. 20590

 

Dear Administrator Barrett:

 

            We are writing to express our concern regarding the shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska by BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. (“BP”).  As you know, Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in the United States with daily production totaling approximately 400,000 barrels of oil per day.  An affordable and reliable energy supply is critical to our nation’s well-being and, as such, we view this domestic oil production from Prudhoe Bay as an integral part of our nation’s energy security. 

 

For the above-mentioned reasons, we are deeply troubled by initial reports from Prudhoe Bay that indicate that BP will likely have to replace 16 miles of its 22 miles of pipe in this oil field.  Further, we are concerned by the reports of significant pipeline corrosion in the Eastern Operating Area of Prudhoe Bay as well as previously known corrosion in the Western Operating Area, as discovered in the March 2006 spill of approximately 5,000 barrels of oil. 

 

Additionally, early reports of the discovery of 16 anomalies at 12 locations in a three-mile area of the Eastern Area are distressing and, if true, are inexcusable.  According to testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, the March 2nd spill came from a BP crude oil transmission line which was exempt from PHMSA regulations because it was a “low-stress” pipeline ( 49 USC 60102(k)) that met location requirements of PHMSA regulations.  We request information on the extent of exempt pipelines in the Prudhoe Bay oil fields.   

 

 Finally, we think it is important to investigate fully the reports of the failure of BP to use internal inspection devices (“smart pigs”) in the Eastern Area of Prudhoe Bay in a timely manner.  It seems to us that this failure should not have happened.  Therefore, we ask what should have been done to prevent this from happening and what should be done to prevent it from happening in the future.

 

We understand that your office has issued several compliance orders to BP since the incident in March 2006.  Further, we understand that there are ongoing investigations with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the March 2006 oil spill at Prudhoe Bay.  We urge your continued attention to this important issue and request that you keep us fully apprised of the Prudhoe Bay situation.  We will continue to monitor this situation, and, if necessary, we will take appropriate action. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Pete V. Domenici         Jeff Bingaman

                                                                                    

cc: Senator Ted Stevens

      Senator Daniel K. Inouye

      Senator Lisa Murkowski