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Alaskan Pipeline Shut Down After Leak Discovered at North Slope Pump Station

The Trans-Alaskan Pipeline was shut down on Saturday after a leak was discovered at a North Slope pump station. Crews discovered the leak within the basement of the Prudhoe Bay location at approximately 8:15 a.m. The leak was found in a section of underground piping encased in concrete. Workers removed nine to ten barrels of oil from the basement on Saturday and nearly 90% of the oil had been removed by midday on Sunday.

The pipeline generally runs 630,000 to 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Valdez where it is then loaded into tankers for transport to the West Coast. Production from the North Slope had declined to 5% of its typical capacity.

The pipeline is owned and operated by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Experts predict the shut down will adversely affect U.S. oil supplies and expect repairs to take a considerable amount of time before the pipeline is operating again.

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