A number of letters and commentary in the Empire and other media outlets have called into question the safety record at BP. Most of these comments focus on the corrosion problems in the connecting pipelines BP operates on the North Slope. A few statements have linked problems on the tankers BP uses to move Alaska's crude oil to market with the North Slope corrosion problems.
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While there have been some problems associated with the rudders on the new tankers BP purchased through the Alaska Tanker Corp., the safety record at ATC is excellent. Almost all new vessels that enter marine service have a period where adjustments are made and problems are corrected. ATC has been very transparent and willing to discuss the problems with the rudders on the new tankers.
I am confident ATC is addressing the limited problems with the new ships. The new vessels are very much state-of-the-art tankers and will move oil from our state in a safe manner for years to come.
Whatever problems BP is having with pipeline corrosion, the folks at ATC have openly and candidly addressed the problems that go with bringing new vessels into commercial use. The safety record at ATC is exemplary and the tanker company doesn't deserve to be tarred with the same brush used to paint the BP pipeline operators.
Benjamin V. Goldrich
Alaska representative, Alaska Office Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association
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