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Our study assumed that virtually all of the gas line
would be buried, except for several bridged river cross
Yet, we continue to hear discussions by personnel
from regulatory agencies, indicating they are interested
in determining if portions of the line should be placed
above ground. There are two basic differences between the
gas line construction and the Trans Alaska Crude Line.
Firstly, the crude line was built before sufficient infra.
structure (road, camps, communications, vendor support, etc.
existed in the state of Alaska... this situation is sub
stantially different for the gas line and has improved
immeasureably. Secondly, 423 miles of the 800 mile crude
line was built above ground. The above ground crude line
required tremendous engineering, procurement, logistical
and construction efforts that are not presently expected
for the gas line.
To the extent that above ground pipe is
found to be required for anything more than nominal lengths
of line, there will be substantial and adverse cost and schedule
I strongly recommend that the issue of above ground
pipe be put to bed once and for all, and that a firm position
River crossing requirements, requirements for insulated
below ground pipe, Atigun Pass, erosion control, restora
tion and revegetation were also issues that must be re
solved rapidly, with firm commitments from regulatory
agencies, because of the overall and fundamental impact
they could have on planning and basic design for the project.
er reading exchanges of correspondence between the Department of
Serior and Northwest Alaskan Pipeline Company, between the Department
Interior and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and a number of the
Le recent internal memorandums that were generated as a result of
review process of the proximity between the gas line and the crude
e, I have come to the following recommendations:
The basic concept proposed by Northwest Alaskan Pipeline
to, in essence, follow and use the Alyeska work pad is
sound and should form the fundamental basis for all planning
In other words, Northwest should plan to hug the
Alyeska work pad and, except at such locations where it is
definitely more cost or schedule effective or essential to
the safety of the crude line to locate the new gas line
elsewhere (at places such as the Sag River crossings which
should be avoided if at all possible), every effort should
be made to utilize the Alyes ka work pad as much as possible.
It is technically feasible, to parallel and use the state
haul road as a part of the work pad. Whenever there are
strong and compelling cost or schedule reasons for using
the haul road, then, and only then, should Northwest deviate
from the Alyeska work pad to parallel the haul road.
Northwest should strongly resist building snow pads. I
am convinced that any extended amount of snow pad will
greatly increase the cost, and result in substantial
additional risk that the project will be delayed.
The periodic references that I see relating to above ground
pipe should be put to rest as soon as possible...I see no
reason why any substantial length of above ground pipe is
going to be required for the gas line.
The twelve "Working Group Questions/Concerns" included as
enclosure "C" of the Department of Interior's letter dated
June 13, 1979 must be resolved as soon as possible. There
is a tendency among some representatives of regulatory agencies
to continue to raise questions and identify potential probless,
etc., as opposed to addressing and resolving problems and
making decisions in accordance with a specific time table.
Often the type of issues raised, or the conditions attached
to approaches could be resolved by considered engineering
judgment, or could be determined to be insignificant.
am concerned that, even after these so-called questions/
concerns are resolved a whole host of additional questions/ concerns will be raised. It is difficult to reconcile and
to come to grips with this issue.
The basic design proposed
by Northwest uses proven technology... in fact, one of the
strengths of the gas line proposal is that it is state-of
the-art and does not require any breakthroughs to be success
ful. There already are strong pressures to try unique and
exotic solutions to problems and firm management direction,
including a firm resolution on the part of governmental
agencies, is required to resist these temptations.
recent decisions that have been made by several of the
agencies, plus the attitude and approach being taken by
the Federal Inspector will go a long way to resolving
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