January 17, 2011 | Ken Reed

Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline Shut Down Due To Oil Leak

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was shut down to almost a trickle on January 8th due to a leak at Pumping Station #1 on the North Slope.
Read more here
Initial estimates indicate that approximately 10 barrels of oil leaked into the basement of the pumping station, all of which has been cleaned up.  They hope to resume pumping shortly.  No reports yet as to root causes of the failure.

This is news for several reasons:

– Shut down of a major oil supply source to the U.S.
– Possibility of environmental problems
– Possible rise in oil prices

And yet, most of the articles concentrate on the fact that this is a BP pipeline, even though the pipeline is jointly owned by BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil.  Can your company survive this kind of publicity?  BP survives because it is so HUGE, and their product is a necessity.  Equipment failures that lead to major public issues can become a permanent black mark against your company name.  I don’t think most companies would be able to weather these types of continuous problems.

Root Cause Analysis
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