17/07/2008 - 15:22

Varanus concerns raised in 2007

17/07/2008 - 15:22

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The state Liberal party has revealed a leaked document from a government agency that had grave concerns about the condition of Apache Energy Ltd's Varanus Island pipelines last year.

Varanus concerns raised in 2007

The state Liberal party has revealed a leaked document from a government agency that had grave concerns about the condition of Apache Energy Ltd's Varanus Island pipelines last year.

Opposition leader Troy Buswell today stepped up calls to the government to have questions answered over last month's pipeline rupture at the facility which cut the state's gas supplies by a third.

In the document dated July 2007, a director with the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection complained to the Department of Industry and Resources that Apache's five year integrity review report had not adhered to conditions of its pipeline licence.

"The 5 year Integrity Review Report does not objectively demonstrate that the subject pipeline complies with the conditions of pipeline licence PL17, the variations and primary technical standards AS [Australian Standard] 2885," the director of petroleum and major hazard facilities, Richard Craddock, said in the letter.

AS2885 relates to safety management, corrosion management, pipeline integrity management and auditing of compliance to safety and operating plan.

Additionally the director recommended a comprehensive assessment be carried out over the pipelines' conditions, with part of the pipeline having been in operation since 1991.

"In view of the period of time that the line has been in operation, it would be prudent and in line with good industry practice for the line to be surveyed in order to ... get a comprehensive assessment of the present condition or fitness for service of the pipeline."

Mr Buswell said Premier Alan Carpenter needed to tell the public what had caused the explosion.

"From August 2007 to March 2008 there was a rash of inspections of Varanus, but the government has arrogantly refused to tell the public what they were about," Mr Buswell said.

"Why has the Premier kept such key information secret from the public? Why is this being hidden?

"Are we suffering because the Carpenter Government and its departments did not do its job properly? This leaked document is pointing that way."

A spokesman for Energy Minister Fran Logan says the problems do not relate to pipelines on the island where the explosion took place, but on the mainland, 130km away.

"But nonetheless DOIR did raise the issues that were raised with Apache," the spokesman said.

"This issue of pipeline integrity prompted a pipeline management plan to be drawn up and submitted and accepted," he said.

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