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On Friday, the Alyeska Pipeline will shut down for as long as 24 hours says the company.
The shut-down is necessary for what is called major maintenance, and will include the first pump station, Pump Station 1 in Prudhoe Bay.
The company also plans on doing routine tests on the pipeline’s valves from Atigun Pass to Pump Station 5. Pump Station 5 is a relief station that is used to relieve the pressure buildup in the pipeline as the oil in it descends down from 4,739 foot Atigun Pass. Atigun is the highest pass that the pipeline ascends as it snakes its way south.
Further planned projects will cause minor shutdowns of as long as eight hours are planned through the summer months and are routine, according to the company.
The average daily throughput in the pipeline is generally just over 500,000 barrels per a day. There are 42 gallons in a barrel.
The 48-inch pipeline is the lifeblood of the state’s economy and has pumped over 16 billion barrels of oil from Prudhoe Bay over 800 miles south to Valdez since it was started up in 1977. On its journey south to the port of Valdez, the oil crosses 34 major streams as well as almost 500 additional smaller streams.
The company says that it will be having another long routine shutdown on August 29 and 30.