BP Pipeline Failure, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session to Receive Testimony Relating to the Effects of the BP Pipeline Failure in the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field on U.S. Oil Supply and to Examine What Steps May be Taken to Prevent a Recurrence of Such an Event, September 12, 2006   [open pdf - 644KB]

From the opening statement of Hon. Pete V. Domenici, U.S. Senator from New Mexico: "BP, British Petroleum, announced a suspension of production in the Prudhoe oil field as a result of a pipeline failure in Alaska. Initially, reports estimated that this shutdown could mean the loss of as much as 400,000 barrels of oil per day, about 8 percent of the total U.S. oil production and 2.8 percent of U.S. supply. As Americans prepared to take to the roads at the height of the holiday driving season, as the tensions in Lebanon drive up fears of a larger Middle East unrest, and as militant attacks and kidnappings have continued to depress oil production and exportation from Nigeria, the news of disruption in our domestic supply of oil came at a most inopportune time. Everyone understands that unfortunate situation. By way of background, it is important to note that this severe pipeline corrosion and resulting oil spill was discovered only because of inspections ordered by Federal regulators following a March 2006 spill of approximately 5,000 barrels of oil from other pipelines operated by British Petroleum. The March and August spills were allegedly the result of years of failure by British Petroleum to conduct the most basic of corrosion inspections-techniques, I should say, the most basic of corrosion inspection techniques. It's one thing for this country to be adversely affected by events over which it has little or no control. It is quite another to have adverse consequences that could have been prevented inflicted on it by companies like BP. That is simply egregious, no doubt about it. At our hearing today we are primarily addressing four issues: One, we need to learn more about what happened on BP's pipelines and the effects that this type of disruption could have on supply and price. Second, we need to gain assurances that our Alaska North Slope oil delivery system will remain secure and reliable. Third, we need to know when full production will resume. And fourth, we need to know what actions are being taken to ensure that this does not happen again." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel K. Akaka, Thomas Barrett, Jeff Bingaman, Jim Bunning, Peter Davies, John Devens, Pete V. Domenici, Byron L. Dorgan, Howard Gruenspecht, Kevin Hostler, Mary L. Landrieu, Robert Malone, Steve Marshall, Lisa Murkowski, James M. Talent, Craig Thomas, Peter Van Tuyn.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 109-766; Senate Hearing 109-766
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html
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