28 Aug '11, 9am

Tech Talk - the coming problems for the Alaskan Pipeline

However, as the flow declines, problems start to arise with the behavior of the oil. The oil comes out of the ground rather hot, and enters the pipeline at a temperature of up to 145 deg F. But even though the pipeline is insulated and isolated to ensure that it does not have an effect on the ground that it crosses, some of which is Permafrost, it will gradually lose heat as it makes the trip down to Valdez. For example, in 2008, when the flow was still 703 kbd, it took 13 days for the oil to reach Valdez, moving at about 2.6 mph. The oil was entering the pipe at 110 deg F, and was at 55.6 deg F when it reached Valdez. However the lower the flow rate, then the slower the oil moves, and thus the cooler it gets.

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8294

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