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Archive for Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Poor weather forces oil pipeline closure

October 11, 2006

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— Both the nation's largest oil field and the trans-Alaska oil pipeline that transports its crude oil were shut down Tuesday after poor weather caused havoc at both ends of the 800-mile pipeline.

BP PLC said high winds were to blame for a power outage that shut down Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska. Production fell to about 35,000 barrels Tuesday; about 350,000 barrels were produced Monday.

Flooding near the southern terminus of the pipeline caused by heavy rain is suspected of knocking out fiber-optic communication lines along the pipeline, causing its temporary shutdown, said Mike Heatwole, spokesman for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the company that operates the pipeline.

The pipeline was brought back online Tuesday afternoon after being out of service for about 10 hours.

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