Why was the Amplify Energy response slow?

Long Beach, CA — Amplifies Energy Emergency Response Plans Large oil spills like those currently being handled along the Southern California coast When the sensor detected a sudden drop in pressure, it relied heavily on a quick shutdown of the San Pedrobay pipeline. That wasn’t what happened, investigators said Tuesday.

After an alarm sounded in the company’s control room at 2:30 am on Saturday (a signal of a rupture of tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spilling into the Pacific Ocean), the company waited more than three hours and shut down the pipeline at 6 o’clock. : 01 am, according to the preliminary findings of the spill investigation.

The Houston-based company took another three hours to notify the US Coast Guard’s National Response Center about the oil spill, further delaying the response to the accident that Amplify workers spent years preparing. Said.

“Why did it take so long? That’s a fair question,” said Richard Koowitz, a pipeline consultant and private accident investigator in Redmond, Washington. “If in doubt, you need to shut down and close …. something is wrong here.”

According to Kuprewicz and other industry experts, pipeline control room alarms are fairly routine and do not necessarily mean leaks. They can trip due to a variety of factors, from false signals from sensors along the line to pumps that go offline and cause sudden pressure changes. However, alarms (which may contain blinking lights, sounds, or both) are also expected to trigger immediate follow-up actions to quickly see if something is wrong.

Workers clean oil from the sand south of the pier in Newport Beach, California, on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. A leak in an oil pipeline spills from the coast of Southern California, leaving about 126,000 gallons of oil to the ocean, the beaches of Orange County. (Orange County Register via Jeff Gritchen / AP)

It is unclear why the process could be dragged out in San Pedro Bay for hours, exacerbating the spill. It left some birds covered in oil, arousing concerns about their wider environmental impact.

We are investigating the cause of the pipeline breakage off the coast of Los Angeles. Early findings show that the ship’s anchor caught the line and dragged it across the seabed, tearing a crevice in a 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) thick steel pipe.

The company’s response timeline seems to be inconsistent with the statement of Amplify CEO Martyn Willsher. He told reporters on Monday that he first noticed the spill after receiving reports from a shiny underwater boat.

Wilshere acknowledged that the company’s equipment should help detect spills and said he “did not notice the leak” before the glossy report.

In a document detailing the company’s actions released Tuesday, federal transport officials commented on the time lag in closing the line and revealed possible explanations provided by Amplify executives. There wasn’t.

Company representatives did not respond to email or phone messages asking for comment on the delay between the alarm and shutdown.

In August, Amplify boasted in a presentation to investors that it had “upgraded its infrastructure to detect spills and other failures early,” and in 2020, about spills that need to be reported to authorities. Reduced by 50%.

Prior to the spill, Amplify had high expectations for the beta field, putting millions into upgrades and new drilling projects.

Problems with defective leak detection procedures have plagued the industry for years, including large periods of time. 2010 oil spill that polluted 40 miles (64 kilometers) On the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. In that case, Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline leaked at least 843,000 gallons (3.2 million liters) of crude oil in 17 hours, despite continued alarms in the company’s control room.

The company later settled the pollution breach in the proceedings for $ 176 million.

The accident required stricter leak detection rules and the installation of automatic or remote controlled shut-off valves that could quickly stop the flow of oil in the leak.

Such a shortage of valves was also cited in another pipeline accident in 2010. The explosion of a natural gas transmission line in San Bruno, California, killed eight people and injured dozens after the transmission line continued. Burns like a giant torch lamp for almost 90 minutes Before the line is manually shut down.

Federal authorities have begun developing new leak detection and valve rules under former President Barack Obama, but they have not been finalized.

The new rule, proposed last year under former President Donald Trump and currently awaiting final approval, is not thousands of miles already in use, but more valves only for new or replaced oil pipelines. Will be obligatory. The change was made after a lobbying group in the oil industry, including the American Petroleum Institute, stated that modifying a line with valves would cost up to $ 1.5 million per device.

Bill Karam of the Pipeline Safety Trust, a group based in Bellingham, Washington, who advocates safer pipelines, said the pending rules do not set criteria for leak detection and are sensitive to equipment leaks. He said he was giving the company a lot of room.

“It worries about our country’s dilapidated energy infrastructure,” Caram said. “I’m worried that this will be an even bigger problem.”

John Stody of the Oil Pipeline Association said companies and industry groups are working hard to improve leak detection technology. Equipment tweaks are part of this, ensuring that companies can detect even small leaks, but don’t have to respond to false alarms.

“People have a hard time reacting when they are suffering from false alarms,” Stoody said.


New York Associated Press writer Bernard Condon contributed to this report.

Why was the Amplify Energy response slow? Source link Why was the Amplify Energy response slow?

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