Alaska to review condition of oil, gas facilities

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gov. Sarah Palin said Tuesday the state will spend the next three years assessing the condition of Alaska's oil and gas facilities.

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Private contractors will work under direction of the newly formed Petroleum Systems Integrity Office.

The plan is vital for the state's economic development as it works toward building a natural gas pipeline, Palin said.

It's also contingent on lawmakers passing Palin's $5 million capital budget request for the 2008 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

If approved the state will begin searching for an outside contractor, said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Larry Hartig.

This plan, called risk assessment, requires learning the condition of all facilities statewide, Hartig said.

"It's a very systematic step-by-step, engineer-driven process: What are risks? How are they being addressed? What are the consequences if something goes wrong?" he said. "Good management requires that we understand the current state of the infrastructure.

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