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Alaska oil pipeline restarts after spill cleanup

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Alaska pipeline restarted after three-day shutdown
  • Officials shut down 800-mile pipe after 5,000 barrels of oil spilled
  • Alyeska Pipeline said cleanup trucks suctioned spilled oil
  • Spill remained in designated containment area

(CNN) -- The trans-Alaska oil pipeline restarted Friday after a shutdown that lasted more than three days, the operating company said.

Alyeska Pipeline spokeswoman Michelle Egan said oil had started flowing again through the 800-mile pipe, which officials shut down on Tuesday after an open valve at a pump station caused 5,000 barrels of oil to overflow from a tank into a containment area.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the spill occurred when a battery failed to control a valve after power was switched from the main grid during a planned pipeline shutdown at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday (2:30 p.m. ET).

Egan said the pump station is near Delta Junction, about 90 miles south of Fairbanks.

Alyeska Pipeline said cleanup trucks suctioned the spilled oil from the containment area.

The pipeline normally delivers about 650,000 barrels of oil daily from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska's North Slope to the port at Valdez. Egan said production had been reduced to 8 percent of that amount during the pipeline shutdown.

CNN's Greg Morrison contributed to this report.