Pigs employed to clean oil pipeline

06-02-2007 | |

An aggressive cleaning tool called a disc pig was sent through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline over the weekend to find a stainless steel ring which broke off a previously used cleaning tool called a scraping pig.

The cleaning tools removed wax buildup, enough to fill 11 55-gallon drums, but failed to find the missing part.

The pipeline operator, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, downplayed the risk of the missing ring, saying there is a low probability that the ring would interfere with a check valve that stops the flow of oil in case of a leak.

A company spokesman, Mike Heatwole, said “We’ll just keep looking”.

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