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Extensive corrosion threatens BP pipelines in Alaska, risking explosions, spills

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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 04:37 AM
Original message
Extensive corrosion threatens BP pipelines in Alaska, risking explosions, spills
Source: Washington Post

...at least 148 BP pipelines on Alaska's North Slope received an "F-rank'' from the company. According to BP oil workers, that means inspections have determined that more than 80 percent of the pipe wall is corroded and could rupture.

Most of those lines carry toxic or flammable substances. Many of the metal walls of the F-ranked pipes are worn to within a few thousandths of an inch of bursting...

-snip-

BP Alaska spokesman Steve Rinehart said the company has "an aggressive and comprehensive pipeline inspection and maintenance program," which includes pouring millions of dollars into the system and regularly testing for safety, reliability and corrosion. He said that although an F-rank is serious, it does not necessarily mean there is a current safety risk.

-snip-

BP employees told ProPublica that several of the 120 turbines used to compress gas and push it through the pipelines have been modified to run at higher stress levels and higher temperatures than they were originally designed to handle. They also said giant tanks that hold hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic fluids and waste are sagging under the load of corrosive sediment and could collapse.

-snip-

BP technicians on the North Slope say, the detectors at some facilities are shut down nearly a third of time. When they are off-line, the company relies on what employees refer to as "human fire detectors" - a foot patrol that sniffs for flammable materials and listens for the hiss of broken pipes.



Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...




The article speaks for itself - it appears BP continues to operate unsafe equipment while ignoring safety risks. Or am I missing something here?

(Worth a full read of both pages of the article)
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groundloop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Profits First.
Does BP really need another disaster before they wake up?

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katnapped Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Expect nothing to be done about it
THANKS AMERICA!
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 07:04 AM
Response to Original message
3. I could live without Alaska
:shrug:
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. Let "Mama Grizzley" take care of it
Suuuuuuuuure she will.
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Harry Monroe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. You betcha!!
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. The spill will give Palin
a nice backdrop for a fatuous speech.
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
7. BP continues its unsafe practices and our leaders continue to allow it.
Many of the metal walls of the F-ranked pipes are worn to within a few thousandths of an inch of bursting...

But everything is ok, nobody panic....

"it does not necessarily mean there is a current safety risk."

I think I've heard that before several major incidents that resulted in the loss of life. I didn't expect anyone to actually do too much after the Gulf spill was contained (dispersed), but I didn't expect it to be so blatant either.

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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
8. No worries. The free market will fix that. nt
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katnapped Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. "Think of teh PROFITS!"
Can't have BP losing profits to fix a pipe now can we?
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-03-10 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. It's not even about fixing.
There are whole companies dedicated to the maintenance of these lines. My ex used to work for such a company and would sometimes say he would recommend to an oil company, after testing, they have a need for x amount of corrosion inhibitor for a certain line to stop the deterioration and they would say, can we get away with half that? Or they would put it off and say it wasn't in their budget. So if these lines are not well maintained, it's completely because of the oil companies trying to cheap out and get away with it. There is no excuse. There are ways of maintaining these lines and avoiding corrosion.
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