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Oil pipeline in quake zone resumes service
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A major refined oil pipeline in Sichuan Province resumed operation at 1 p.m. on Wednesday after being suspended for safety concerns, Xinhua learnt from PetroChina.

The pipeline, winding from Lanzhou through Chengdu to Chongqing, halted operations at 1 p.m. Tuesday because drainage efforts in the Tangjiashan "quake lake" area had speeded up.

The pipeline is 60 km downstream from the quake lake. But as the water from the lake flows downstream, pressure on the pipeline was increasing.

This was the second time the pipeline had to shut since the 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan Province on May 12.

The company said it was safe to re-open the pipeline as flood discharge capacity decreased to 1,000 cubic meters per second as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, which was under the pipeline's maximum resistance.

The suspension did not hamper oil supply to the quake zone as oil storage before the suspension was enough for 20 days, Jiang Humin, sales manager of PetroChina's Sichuan branch, told Xinhua.

The pipeline was the only channel transferring oil to southwest China, with an annual transport capacity of more than 6 million tonnes. About 70 percent of the refined oil in Sichuan and Chongqing was channeled by this pipeline.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2008)

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