- - Thursday, December 10, 2009


BP says ice plugs caused rupture

ANCHORAGE — Oil company BP PLC says ice plugs in a pipeline caused a rupture that spilled 46,000 gallons of crude and water in an oil field on Alaska’s North Slope.

BP spokesman Steve Rinehart says the plugs caused pressure to build up in the line on Nov. 29 and then split it. Oil and water sprayed out of a 2-foot lengthwise crack along the bottom of the pipe.

He says the pipeline had been taken out of service several weeks ago because of restricted flow, so it’s not affecting production at Prudhoe Bay.

Mr. Rinehart says ice plugs occasionally form in pipelines and end up causing a rupture.

He says BP is considering several ways of dealing with the plugs, including applying heat or introducing de-icer and warm crude.


City Council delays marijuana vote

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council delayed a vote Wednesday on a medical marijuana ordinance that could close hundreds of pot dispensaries across the city.

The council asked planning officials to return next week with zoning maps that show how many pot dispensaries could close if the city bans the shops within 500 feet of homes, schools and public gathering sites.

The council is wrestling with setting that distance at 500 feet or 1,000 feet. Some members feel a 1,000-foot limit would banish pot clinics to industrial areas.

Council members indicated a vote could come in January on the law providing guidelines for pot dispensaries in the nation’s second-largest city.

The city has fumbled previous attempts to adopt a pot law in the past two years.

“Let’s just make a real informed decision,” Councilman Ed Reyes said.

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