HELP! Looking for specifics on oil disruptions in imported oil and how this will effect the Alaskan Pipeline. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Looking to my educated GI's for concrete statements, quotes, articles, etc. on oil production. Need to have this for part of a informative presentation to my church. Please include any additional links you think might be good for me to check out. Keep up the good work spreading the news, as good information will be what prepares us all. Brother Board Man

-- Brother Board Man (, January 25, 1999


Last April the respected trade journal "World Oil" ran an article by two oil company managers and a longtime computer consultant to the industry noting that there wouldn't be time to check 70% of embedded systems in U.S. oil refineries (let alone the embedded systems in pumping stations and pipelines).

The recent National Intelligence Council report authored by Mr. Gershwin (their science & technology officer) noted the possibility of serious disruptions in world oil production and distribution because of Y2K. The maritime industry has serious Y2K problems. I think there are threads to this report on this forum.

Peter Gauthier, a global business consultant to several leading Japanese firms, recently related an interview he had with the Japanese engineer who designed many of the Japanese SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems used in Middle Eastern oil facilities. This man told Peter that these SCADA systems would fail come 2000. The Japanese write very "fat" code and are meticulous about logging historical (date-dependent) data, hence their SCADA systems tend to be more Y2K vulnerable than ours. I've lost the URL for Peter's website but you can email him at

-- Don Florence (, January 25, 1999.

Y2K problems with the Alaskan Pipeline will result if the pipeline is shutdown by failed pumps and control systems. These are distinct Y2K possibilities for this pipeline and all other SCADA-run and monitored systems. If the pipeline system is shutdown in a normal manner, like is done for regular maintenance then the pipeline is "drained' before flow is stopped. An emergency shutdown is when the problems start.

Because Alaskan crude oil is "heavy" crude, it's thick and doesn't flow well by itself. In fact, Alaskan crude is just a little thinner than tar or liquid asphalt. It must be pumped to keep moving and by the friction of movement, it heats up the pipeline which in-turn heats-up the oil which then flows easier.

If Y2K causes break-downs or shutdowns in the pumping system or the end-of-pipeline terminal, then the oil flow will come to a halt. Heavy crude oil that isn't moving will cool, thicken and become nothing more than "goo". Warm late-spring and summer weather will be the only thing that will be able to warm and thin the oil enough to allow restarting movement of oil in the Alaska pipeline if the pipeline isn't shutdown properly, possibly before 01/01/2000 as a pre-Y2K precaution.


-- Wildweasel (, January 25, 1999.

Brother Board Man:

Try the American Petroleum Institute, at --- There's a couple of Articles from Oil and Gas Journal on y2k on that site.

-- Morgan (, January 26, 1999.

I used to work on the Slope, 89-90. I remember that one of the Rolls Royce jet engines that powered one of the pumps, flow station #5, if my memory is correct. The engine, as I was told, had a date sensitive or time sensitive control unit go bad. It trashed the engine. It took a month or more to repair it. The mechanics were brought in from somewhere in the mid-west US. I do not know about the effects, if any, that y2k will have on the pipe line, but I do know that there must be thousands of emmbedded systems associated with transfering oil through the line. Staffing was thin when I was there. I here it is even thinner today. I know that because of such short staffing, that allot of what goes on up there is heavily reliant on computers and embedded systems to warn of malfunctions. Now that I think of it, y2k might be a problem.

-- Patriot (, January 26, 1999.

Here's the link to the April 1998 World Oil article:

-- Kevin (, January 26, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ