Drift River Terminal oil volumes reduced prior to volcano activity increase

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Following additional measurements and confirmation by a third party it has been determined that approximately 841,860? gallons (20,040 barrels) of crude oil remains in the tanks at Drift River Terminal following the April 30 draw down.???

This amount is about 13 percent of the original 6.2 million gallons ?(148,000 barrels). The original figure provided immediately after the April 30 draw down was an estimate based on the volumes in the tanks prior to the operation.

Time was required following the transfer ?operation to allow the oily water mix in the tanks to settle providing ?for more accurate measurements.

“We have effectively removed more than 80 percent of the oil at the facility,” said Gary Folley, state on scene coordinator, unified command. “We have met our objective as a unified command to reduce the? potential threat to the environment with minimal risk to the safety of? personnel.”

There have been no oil spills and no injuries during the operations at Drift River. The Chevron-flagged tanker Mississippi Voyager completed an? out load of oil and water from the terminal’s tanks and departed for a refinery in Hawaii April 30. During the out load process at least 5,040,000 gallons (120,000 barrels) ?of water was pushed into the Drift River system from the Mississippi ?Voyager.

The oily water mix in tank 1 and 2 was consolidated into tank 1? and then pumped to the Mississippi Voyager.

“We ran our pumps to the lowest possible level to remove as much fluid? from the tanks to reduce the hydrocarbon footprint in the active tanks, “?said Rod Ficken, vice president Cook Inlet Pipeline Company, unified? command. “At that point we had removed as much as possible with the ?pumps. The only way to remove more is to complete a tank cleaning ?process over several months.”

Once pumping was completed the combined active tanks had approximately 5? million gallons of water in them to maintain a safe level to prevent buoyancy ?issues.

“The volume changed from our initial estimate due to the addition of the residue that clings to the side of the tanks and the oil that was in? the line from the tanks to the Christy Lee platform that was pushed into the tanks when the water was transferred from the tanker which was our ?first step.” said Capt. Mark Hamilton, federal on-scene coordinator,? unified command. “We were able to do this in less than 48 hours with a minimum number of people limiting the time the personnel and the tanker? were in close proximity to the active volcano.”

The unified command continues to monitor the facility and discuss the situation on a weekly basis until information is received from the Alaska Volcano Observatory indicating the volcano has entered a dormant? period.

Repairs and clean up of the facility continues. About 3,000 feet of the? existing runway has been cleared to allow for any activity that is ?required at the facility. Crews are conducting day light operations only ?and are not remaining at the facility overnight.

Cook Inlet Pipe Line in conjunction with the upstream producers continue to assess options for future operations at the facility. The Coast Guard and the State of Alaska will ensure that whatever decision the companies make they continue to operate within the regulations for oil operations and transfers.

Redoubt Volcano’s activity has increased this week and continues to? produce emissions of steam, volcanic gases and minor amounts of ash, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

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