Panel assembled for CI pipeline review
As part of a risk assessment of Cook Inlet oil and gas pipelines, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council have selected a panel of five experts to develop recommendations for assuring pipeline integrity and safety in the Cook Inlet region, CIRCAC announced March 15.
The panel selection comes as the second phase of a project in which CIRCAC commissioned Nuka Research and Planning Group to conduct the risk assessment, which applies to onshore and offshore pipelines that carry oil or gas with natural gas liquids. CIRCAC is concerned about the condition of the pipelines, given their ages and the fact that companies are talking about operating the pipelines for at least another 20 years. CIRCAC is providing $50,000 of funding for the project, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is contributing $15,000, while $200,000 is coming from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s capital budget.
The first phase of the project involved creating an inventory of all available information about the pipelines. The idea is that the panel that has now been assembled will review that inventory and talk to pipeline operators and members of the public. Following an assessment of what they find, the panel will make recommendations for operators and government regulators.
The experts on the panel consist of Dr. Christopher Dash, James Howell, Andrew Kendrick, Christopher Myers and Dr. Shirish Patil. Myers has an intimate knowledge of Cook Inlet oil and gas operations; Howell and Dash have worked on pipeline safety in other parts of Alaska; and Kendrick has consulted on pipeline risk management and safety throughout the United States. Patil is professor of petroleum engineering in the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, having previously spent more than 30 years teaching and studying petroleum engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, CIRCAC said.
“We have been working towards this process for a long time and appreciate the willingness of the panel members to commit themselves to exploring options to enhance pipeline safety in Cook Inlet,” said Mike Munger, CIRCAC executive director.
- ALAN BAILEY