Anchoring near submarine pipelines?

JohnS

.
Sep 25, 2008
177
Islander (Wayfarer/McGlasson) 32 St Georges Harbor
Recent news reports indicate that the oil spill off the coast of LA is the result of an anchor dragging and breaking a submerged pipeline. My question: Would there have been a No Anchor designation for the area along the pipeline?

I don't have charts for the Long Beach port area, but the Marine Ways app on my phone shows a "Precautionary Area (see note J)" that looks like it covers the pipeline in question.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Sep 25, 2008
6,318
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
That was my first reaction when I learned about the spill. As an aside, do over and underwater hydrocarbon pipelines undergo scheduled "smar or intelligent" pigging Intelligent Pigging in Pipeline Pre-Commissioning Operations - Opus Kinetic to inspect pipeline integrity and risk of failure caused by corrosion resulting in wall thinning) cracks, extenal damage, etc.?
My understanding is all U.S. pipelines, regardless of where, do. It’s largely a moot point given the current explanation of what happened.
 
Jun 11, 2004
1,221
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Recent news reports indicate that the oil spill off the coast of LA is the result of an anchor dragging and breaking a submerged pipeline. My question: Would there have been a No Anchor designation for the area along the pipeline?

I don't have charts for the Long Beach port area, but the Marine Ways app on my phone shows a "Precautionary Area (see note J)" that looks like it covers the pipeline in question.
"The Rotterdam Express, a German-flagged ship nearly 1,000 feet (305 meters) long, was assigned to anchorage SF-3, the closest designated parking spot for ships to where the pipeline ruptured off Huntington Beach." (ABC news report)

The pipeline is clearly on the San Pedro Bay chart 18749.

From the chart, the center of the anchorage the ship was in (SF-3) looks to be about 3,000 feet from the pipeline. The outer edge of the anchorage looks about 1,300 feet from the pipeline.

The ship is 965 feet long so the center of its anchorage was only about 3 boatlengths from the pipeline.

That seems pretty close for anchoring a large ship to a sensitive oil pipeline.

The Rotterdam Express people say they didn't do it. That may be true. The pipe could have been damaged from a prior anchor strike and only now started leaking. Hopefully we will find out.

It would be interesting to know how often they inspect the pipes.

You can see how close SF-3 is to the pipeline at the very bottom of the attached chart at 118 07. Just click on it to expand.

 
Last edited: