Pipelines and plugs

The Association of Oil Pipelines reports that the main lines to the North East are now flowing relatively full, which means that at least part of the country should be in fair shape before long.  Elsewhere, of course, there remain considerable shortages.  One hears of relief supplies being turned back over 100 miles outside of N.O. because there is no fuel beyond that point.  But it poses the question as to where the European supplies will go as they make their way across the Atlantic.  (And a quick trip to the FAQ at a cruise site suggests that this will take 7 days).  Perhaps South Florida? And will the supplies include jet fuel ?( (From the press info so far apparently not).

I will post the info from the AOPL below the fold and also an answer to Irene Weiser's question as to why oil wells over the Gulf of Mexico (GOMEX) aren't spewing oil all over the ocean since the platforms and rigs have been blown off-site. UPDATE: Speaking of which Time has an excellent map they have posted showing all the oil facilities that were at risk, as well as the overall area.

The AOPL report states

Safety assessments have been performed and no damage has been found

All major crude oil and refined product pipelines that were unable to immediately come back on line after the storm are now transporting reduced volumes.  

In order to fully resume normal operations, facilities need adequate electricity restored and product to transport.

The rest of the nations 200,000 miles of oil pipelines have continued operations uninterrupted

Refined Products Pipelines (gasoline, aviation fuel, heating oil and other refined products)

Colonial Pipeline:
Operating at approximately 73% (73 million gallons per day) of normal capacity which is 100 million gallons per day.  Both gasoline and aviation fuel is included in the restart.  The Colonial system consists of more than 5,500 miles of pipeline originating in Houston, TX and terminating at the New York harbor.

Plantation Pipeline:
Operating at approximately 95% (23 million gallons per day) of normal capacity which is approximately 25 million gallons per day.  Plantation Pipeline system consists of 3,100 miles of pipeline originating in Baton Rouge, LA, and terminating in the Washington, DC area.

Crude Oil Pipeline:

Operating at approximately 75% (31 million gallons per day) of normal capacity which is 42 million gallons per day.  Capline Pipeline system consists of 650 miles of pipeline originating in St. James, LA (including LOOP and SPR) and terminating in Patoka, IL.  

And in regard to storm protection of wells, the oil companies will insert what are called storm packers into the well before they leave.  I will discuss packers and their role a little more in a Saturday techie post, but simplistically they are similar to the cork in a wine bottle. They are a plug inserted into the well, below the depth where they might be disturbed, and tested to make sure that they will keep the seal, and then left to block the well until after the storm has passed.

Baker Hughes has a fairly technical description of the one that they have prepared for Thunder Horse (which is the 250,000 bd platform that tilted during Dennis, but appears to have weathered Katrina in better shape). (The mudline can be considered the seafloor here).
Schlumberger has a picture of a packer that should give you an idea of what they look like.

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Thanks for your continuing reporting on the status of the pipelines.  As an Atlanta resident, I have been wanting to keep an eye on this.