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   Alaska-Info Forum
   pipeline clamp that can plug bullet holes
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   Autor  Beitrag: pipeline clamp that can plug bullet holes  (Gelesen: 1398 mal)

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pipeline clamp that can plug bullet holes
( Datum: Mai 13th, 2005 um 2:27:36pm)
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FAIRBANKS — A lighter-weight hydraulic clamp that could more quickly plug a bullet hole in the trans-Alaska oil pipeline has been officially placed in the Alyeska Pipeline Service repair toolbox.

The clamp is the invention of Alyeska and Fairbanks engineering firms, which worked on the device after a man shot the pipeline with a high-powered rifle in 2001, causing a $20 million cleanup bill.

Alyeska employees used the clamp in a formal drill for the first time last week. They have been practicing with the clamp for about 18 months, Alyeska spokesman Curtis Thomas said.

"I'm very pleased with what they have done," said Becky Lewis, the Department of Environmental Conservation pipeline section manager with the Joint Pipeline Office. The JPO is an Alaska pipeline oversight group consisting of officials from DEC, the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The exercise was conducted with a portable pipeline set up on the oil pipeline right of way near Fairbanks.

The clamp contains the spill and diverts the lost crude oil into bladders.

The clamp was manufactured in Fairbanks, Alyeska spokesman Thomas said.

"The clamp is newly designed, smaller than our previous one," he said. "More portable, easier to maneuver and better designed for a bullet hole."

Daniel Lewis of Livengood shot the pipeline in 2001 with a .338 rifle, puncturing the steel insulating jacket and the pipe and causing 286,000 gallons of crude oil to spill. About 176,000 gallons were recovered and re-injected back into the pipeline.

Lewis was convicted of oil pollution and criminal mischief, plus assault, driving while intoxicated and weapons misconduct for handling a hunting rifle while drunk. He was sentenced to 16 years in state prison.

It took spill responders 36 hours to stop the leak and plug the bullet hole.

The company last summer the company demonstrated the new clamp to regulators and employees. Spill responders will train with the clamp once a year during one of the company's 72 training exercises, Thomas said.


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