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Further damage has been discovered on the trans-Alaska pipeline, allegedly from a rifle attack earlier this month that caused a large leak, but no more oil spilled, Reuters reported.
Four additional bullet strikes were reported to Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the consortium that operates the 800-mile line and its Valdez marine terminal, by the Alaska State Troopers, Alyeska said.
The damage was near the pipeline's midpoint, about 50 miles north of Fairbanks and near the site where a bullet fired by a gunman caused 6,800 barrels, or 285,600 gallons, of oil to spurt out of the line starting on Oct. 4.
Alyeska is owned by oil companies with interests on the North Slope. Major owners are London-based BP Plc, Bartlesville, Okla.-based Phillips Petroleum and Houston-based Exxon Mobil Corp.
The newly discovered bullet strikes pierced the pipeline's outer insulation and required repairs, which were expected to be completed today, the report said. There will be no effect on oil flow or North Slope operations, the company said.
Daniel Carson Lewis was arrested in the Oct. 4 attack and charged with the shooting, which authorities characterized as a case of drunken vandalism. A government official said they were most likely related.
The pipeline was shut down over three days, and North Slope production slowed to about 5 percent of its normal 1 million barrel per day rate while Alyeska repaired the pipeline and launched a cleanup, which is expected to last through spring.