Stories & News

Perfect performance: 100% TAPS reliability in 2020

In 2020, Alyeska and TAPS workers reached an exceptional level of operational excellence: 100 percent TAPS reliability, a rare achievement especially notable given the very challenging 2020. The 100 percent reliability mark was last reached in 2003.

TAPS moved 480,199 barrels per day on average in 2020. To attain 100 percent reliability, Alyeska, as the TAPS Operator, transported all barrels delivered to Pump Station 1 with no interruption or impact to production. The 100 percent reliability score also means Alyeska and contractors operated with no barrels deferred due to planned maintenance shutdowns and unplanned equipment outages. The bottom line: Alyeska exceeded its 2020 Performance Contract goal of 99+ percent reliability.

“This is an amazing result and one of our finest moments in demonstrating the collaboration, teamwork and just plain hard work that goes into supporting this kind of result,” said Betsy Haines, Sr. Vice President of Operations &Maintenance. “Way to go team! I couldn’t be prouder.” Factors that can impact reliability include long-duration planned and unplanned pipeline shutdowns, and unplanned equipment outages. So what happened, or didn’t happen, in 2020 that fueled TAPS and its workers to reach 100 percent reliability?”

The 100 percent reliability in 2020 can be attributed to the coordination and planning efforts of the Portfolio and Planning teams, the impeccable system-wide execution of planned shutdowns, and the timely response to unplanned shutdowns and equipment outages,” said Freya Janssen, Alyeska’s Oil Movements Scheduling and Measurement supervisor.

In 2020, there were two high-inventory producer-initiated prorations at the Valdez Marine Terminal. Those did not, however, impact TAPS reliability. Inventory levels at the VMT are controlled by the TAPS Carriers moving oil down the pipeline and Marine Shippers taking delivery to tankers. An Alyeska-initiated high-inventory producer proration has not occurred since 2016. Alyeska initiates a producer proration as a last resort to maintain safe tank inventory levels. High inventory is often due to tanker scheduling or tankers delayed in transit to the VMT due to weather, mechanical issues or delays at their last port.

While 2020 marked the first 100 percent reliability score in 17 years, top-tier dependability is nothing new on TAPS: Alyeska has exceeded 99.5 percent reliability every year since 2012.