Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Owned By BP, Shut Down After Oil Spill

Tyler Durden's picture

If BP was a comatose patient on a ventilator, this is where the doctor would say, "enough, better luck next time" and pull the plug. With the firm about to see a lynch mob on its corporate HQ grounds any day now, the last thing the company can afford is news of another oil spill. Enter Murphy's law. Reuters reports: "The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after a crude oil spill, drastically cutting supply out of Alaska's oilfields." The only good news out of this: it is now abundantly clear that actual oil supply and demand are the last things on anyone's mind when determining what the price of crude should be. Kinda like pretty much every other asset in America these days.

More from Reuters:

 The accident comes at a difficult time for BP -- the largest single owner of the pipeline, holding 47 percent of Alyeska -- as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.

The shutdown followed a series of mishaps that resulted from a scheduled fire-command system test at Pump Station 9, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, said Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, the operator of the 800-mile (1,287 km) oil line said.

The power outage triggered opening of relief valves, causing an unspecified volume of crude oil to overflow a storage tank into a secondary containment. There were no injuries, but the work site was evacuated, Alyeska said.

North Slope oil producers have been instructed to cut their flow to 16 percent of their normal rates, Alyeska said.

Alyeska is a consortium owned by five oil companies. Major owners are BP, ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research). Unocal and Koch hold minor shares.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to the tanker port of Valdez, normally ships about 667,000 barrels of oil daily.

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tony bonn's picture

bp needs to be shut down and its irresponsible little boy exectives locked up in jail....

Howard_Beale's picture

Along with the MMS gang that let the oil companies do their own inspections in pencil and then let the MMS personnel write over it in pen.


Alienated Serf's picture

may the executives of BP, the minerals inspectors and burn in an oily hell for eternity. 

instead of middle eastern wars, bank bailouts, fed FX swaps, pork barrel projects, and all other manner of waste; how about a public/private energy manhattan project.  nothing could be more beneficial to national security, human progress and a sustainable economy.  we need to move on from the oil age.

the oil cartel, right up there with the MIC and the financial oligarchy.  the three legs of serfdom and endless war.

as for barry, what a phony piece of garbage; has he flown over the spill in air force one yet? barry w. clinton. 



Apostate's picture

Some enterprising photoshopper needs to do a portrait of this Barack W. Clinton - the finest president to ever occupy the office. 

Dr. Hannibal Lecter's picture

My Dear Friend,

You are willing to put an industrial reactor in your back yard?




Alienated Serf's picture

I am more then happy to.  I live 20 miles down the river from one as is.  Modular nuclear, wind, solar would be a good start to get off oil.  

FreeStateYank's picture

We've had the answer and the ecomentalists shut it down. Nuclear power. We've also contributed yearly to the Yucca Mountain disposal area via our utility bills. Where's the refund, Feds?

There are small, closed system nukes in development that could power remote development. Wind blows- but not consistently and where it is relatively strong, there is no grid to transmit the energy generation. In the Netherlands, they have to shut down the wind turbines at night as there is insufficient demand for the energy usage, no storage and when it does not blow sufficiently, they must rely on alternative generation. Big boondoggle.

If you don't like nukes for one reason or the other, go with gas turbines.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

BP is an extraordinarily bad oil company.  Let's review:

-- oil spill from their Alaska pipeline, +/- 3 yrs ago

-- refinery explosion in Houston +/- 2 yrs ago

-- horrific GulfoMex oil spill

-- new oil spill from their Alaska pipeline

Verdict: Guilty of criminal negligence for years.  Punishment: Break it up

Cursive's picture

And this is from the "green" oil company.  Thank you, Lord John Browne.  What a complete waste of human DNA.

Wilderman's picture

BP has some issues, namely the current disaster in the GOM, particularly wrt well design issues (seens every oil well in a new formation can be a bitch) or possibly poor construction practices.  And certainly, this is the spill is the worst the world has publicly seen, probably the worst ever.


I'm no expert, but I'd like to know if BP has a significantly worse batting average than the rest of the field wrt 'violations' as they may be reported or enforced 


Shirley, there's a large difference between the two. 


Haven't seen any discussion of this elsewhere on the web, but always find references to ZH where the conversation seems relevant. 


Wilderman's picture

Sorry Howard, must be an old verbal habit translated to the web. If I can't laugh about this mess, I cry, so I throw a cheezy pun in now and again, just to pimp the readers to the last line, which is usually the drunkest. 

plongka10's picture

I believe Royal Dutch Shell have a particularly poor record in the Nigerian Delta FWIW.

FreeStateYank's picture

Think BP was poorly managed for years- reminds me a bit of Anglo mining. Top heavy with underperformers. Weed out has commenced over the past year. Hayward is a good guy IMO and actually has the technical background needed for the job, rather than just a corporate figurehead.

RE the AK spill, the overflow went exactly where it was supposed to go- into containment beds.

IIRC, BP has better success than most in targeting DW locations. Less dry wells and bigger finds than most. Tiber is HUGE!!! RE the GOM leak, it's bad and ugly, but it is NOT heavy crude, nor was the spill located in the mouth of a bay with no place to go, other than the shore. Furthermore, the disperant used does not fiddle with the hormonal aspects of wildlife, unlike some of the others on the market- according to one report, but I cannot recall the source- too much reading!

Additionally, some of the troubles in Gulf Coast oysterbeds long pre-date the Macando issue- Cholera [poop  caused] has had many beds off limits, although fly by night oystermen have continued to harvest and sell illegally.

Last of all, as much as I like Jindal, I can't help but wonder if his push for barrier islands is for a hurricane  buffer paid for by other than the LA ratepayers. 'Never let a crisis go to waste'.

ColonelCooper's picture

I am no fan of BP by any means.  But did any of you read the story?  It overflowed into SECONDARY CONTAINMENT which is what it is supposed to do in the event of failure.  This would literally be a non story if the Gulf abortion weren't going on.  If BP would have had redundant saftety systems on Deep Horizon, perhaps we wouldn't be having this discussions either.

Oil leaks happen in pipeline systems ALL THE TIME.  They just aren't normally considered hot topics unless they're large scale.  Running over into a containment???  Not really a leak.  If they would have overran the containment?  NOw that's a story.

velobabe's picture


the taking over of the world by a god damn irresponsible corporation.

i only turn on CNBC periodically, but they honestly think BP is a buy. SICK†

Howard_Beale's picture

Velo, it is a tragedy beyond belief.

Let's hope Beeker loads up on BP in his IRA since working for CNBS he can't legally trade anything except his retirement account. I'm so glad that little fucker is a permabull. 

Dennis Kneale, if you are reading this, and you know you are you little pussy, STFU.

Alienated Serf's picture

wow.  and that is why i turn on cnbs NEVER

dogbreath's picture

I don't own a TV.  I cannot discuss TV.  Thank god for ZH for if it didn't exist I would be an antisocial basket case. 

Sudden Debt's picture

no tv?... what do you do when it's Porn week?!?

Alienated Serf's picture

plenty of porn on the web my friend.

Papasmurf's picture

That means it is not to late to go short.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Bad luck?  Or something else?



velobabe's picture

hedgeless is that a penis phallic symbol, your wearing now a days†

A Nanny Moose's picture

is it just me, or is it a bit nipply....**cough** nippy **cough** in here?

A Nanny Moose's picture

is it just me, or is it a bit nipply....**cough** nippy **cough** in here?

Mr. Denny Kneel's picture

Well, it should provide some cover for the failed top kill attempt.

Hopefully, the pundits can go crazy about this and forget to mention when the top kill creates an even worse problem than we currently have.


My question for the zh community - with the resurgence of the "tea party" does this mean that we shall have a resurgence of "tar and feather" practices?  Seems like a good activity for a BP board meeting...


silvertrain's picture

 Did any more news come out about the oil tanker crash last night near Singapore? Last night around 10 pm Cashflow on cnbc broke in and said an oil tanker had crashed with another boat near singapore and had spilled alot of oil out there..Havent seen anything else about it..

MsCreant's picture

Oily seabed

Oily sunrise

Folks are dependant

unhealthy, unwise.

Miles Kendig's picture

That's how the cookie crumbles, at least that's what they say when we play the game. How tragic. Folks forget that BP had to shut down the pipeline a year or two ago to make essential repairs. Looks like the essential repairs got the pencil over... just like every other profession, the crap just keeps on repeating.

I wouldn't go back now for any amount of money (or anything else) - Miles Kendig

ColonelCooper's picture

Again, I'm no fan of BP, but it is not unusual IN THE LEAST to have to shut a line down for repairs due to a leak, or anomaly found by inspection. 

M.B. Drapier's picture

Hey, what if one could connect BP's recent safety record directly to Goldman Sachs' boardroom? Wouldn't that be something almost too crowd-pleasing to be true?

Note that the article actually underplays the drama of Sutherland's first gig at Allied (note: not Anglo) Irish Bank[s]. At this time AIB was running a tax-evasion scam for a good proportion of its retail customers, and Sutherland was involved with the departure of the bank's internal whistleblower. In addition, FitzGerald was the man who, just a few years earlier, had as Taoiseach (ie. prime minister) authorised the then-most-recent panic bailout of AIB. (Again, Ross has the story if you're curious; see the linkdump.)

velobabe's picture

everybody is in bed with everybody, here†

Rebel's picture

I worked as a roughneck in the summers while going through college on a wildcat rig. It was like being in the wild west. No concern for anything except "Making Hole". I ran the compressors, working 7 12 hours shifts a week. It was so dangerous when you had to clear the hole, that my boss would park his pickup a quarter mile away, watch me give him hand signals on what the hole pressure was through his binoculars, and then he would flash his headlights to signal me what to do. I understood the danger, but the pay was good. There is nothing about the oil industry that could surprise me.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Now there's a boss who understood who was expendable and it wasn't him.

Poor Bo Peep....ummm....I mean Bee Pee. When it shits it's diarrhea all day and all night. It's clear their corporate strategy will once again revolve around changing their logo and tag line.

Let's see. Let's try this.

BP.....moving Beyond Petrolum because we lost all ours in that little lake in the states. Next stop? Nuclear, because we've fucked up drilling as much as we can. 

Rebel's picture

It will be interesting to see the story more fully unfold. Many reports of employees and contractors warning BP that rig was in imminent danger. They live by a different set of rules.

Howard_Beale's picture

They didn't just warn BP, they warned Senators--during the Healthcare debate. The whistleblower was dismissed since big oil owns congress and big pharma was in danger of losing their ability continue to pile drive the public. Just too much Corporate Fascism for one week, I guess.

Cursive's picture

Corporate Fascism and silencing whistleblowers - we live in a psycho bizarro world where where no good deed goes unpunished.

JohnKing's picture

Blow up your balance sheet, get the keys to the US Treasury, blow out your oil well, you get ownership of the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing succeeds like failure.

Miles Kendig's picture

Right is wrong now
Ha, shut up you big lie

Oh and the "black is white" lie
You comb your hair to
Hide your lying eyes

- Dave Matthews

kimyo's picture

a few more details confirming that schlumberger rumor emerged tonight. 

ps: if the cement job is bad, top kill won't work, kill wells have reduced chance of success.  (adding the obligatory: ham radio, bitches)


"The crew of the Deepwater Horizon had a number of warning signs extending over five hours that conditions were worsening deep underwater before the oilrig exploded in the Gulf on April 20, BP's own investigators told a House inquiry into the cause of the deadly accident.

The first warning came five hours before the explosion, congressional investigators with the oversight subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said in a memo released Tuesday evening.

There was evidence that throughout the day crews failed to follow proper procedures for critical activities, and had readings 51 minutes before the explosion that showed more fluid was being pumped out of the well than was being pumped in. Even though pressure readings indicated "a very large abnormality," BP continued to replace drilling mud with seawater. That move, BP's team told the subcommittee's investigators, may have been a "fundamental mistake."

The memo also suggests that some cement work failed, including crucial components designed to hold back oil and gas and prevent an explosion."

Howard_Beale's picture

Time for the Kevorkian treatment on BP. Nationalization is right around the corner. They don't know jack shit about containing oil spills. Do you?

Crab Cake's picture

Let's be real, the administration isn't being astute, they are trying to use BP as a body shield.  Barack Obama is astutely trying to cover his ass.  Covering their asses is the only thing that politicians do astutely; it seems.

Howard_Beale's picture

CC, it just isn't that simple. Apparently Obama wanted to plug the fucking hole 4 days after it happened and his cabinet said it wasn't that easy...perhaps we should point the blame at the whole system and the last president as well with an assinine belief that when these rigs were built, the corporations were taken at their word that they had a plan for this type of disaster. The MMS let the oil companies do their own inspections in pencil so they could put ink over them. BP (as seen on 60 Minutes) did not want to hear about the rubber coming through the pipe making it impossible to close down the well. They didn't see things the way the captain of the rig saw it. They didn't give a shit.

This government, in collusion with every corporate interest whether it be banking, pharma, oil, and everything else, is an abomination on everything this country was founded on.

I won't defend Obama since I have called for a military solution for 3 weeks--you should see the emails to my friends and family. I am so damn pissed off about this words cannot describe. But I think it is just one big clusterfuck with plenty of blame to go everywhere in every direction.

velobabe's picture

beale, it is just plain sad.

i think CB just said,,,,,,,, escape. what else is there?

just go underground in your brain.

i don't think too much, unlike most of the poster's on ZH, so it doesn't hurt so much.

cheeky, cares about people, that is when it starts to hurts.

can't burden yourself with others.