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BP Denies Rigging Pipe Inspection Data

From the Associated Press

British oil company BP on Monday denied allegations that it manipulated data from inspections of Alaska pipelines that were partly shut down this month because of corrosion problems.

The Financial Times reported the Environmental Protection Agency was probing allegations by BP workers that the company manipulated data to avoid replacing pipelines in the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, oil field.

“We’ve been working with the [Transportation Department] and the EPA since we notified them of the original leak two weeks ago,” said Robert Wine, a BP spokesman in London.

Alaska Atty. Gen. David Marquez told the state Legislature in a special hearing Friday in Anchorage that the state had served subpoenas to BP and other Prudhoe Bay leaseholders to preserve all documentation related to the Aug. 6 shutdown and pipeline corrosion dating to 1996.

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In the Financial Times article, BP workers said the company inspected more areas of known good pipe than bad, creating the impression that the pipeline was in better shape than it really was.

Days after the shutdown, the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ordered the company to conduct more rigorous tests on the so-called transit pipelines, which carry market-ready oil to the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline. The department’s engineers have been at the site since Aug. 8.


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