Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

BP's Alaska North Slope Well Stops Leaking Crude Oil

BP's Alaska North Slope Well Stops Leaking Crude Oil

A BP oil and gas production well in Alaska's North Slope blew out Friday morning, and on Saturday afternoon, the well was still not under control as responders fought subfreezing temperatures and winds gusting up to 38 miles per hour.

Authorities still don't know what caused the well to leak except that the wellhead cracked.

"Crews are on the scene and are developing plans to bring the well under control, " said Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman, "and safety will remain our top priority as we move through this process".

A BP drill site in Prudhoe Bay has been depressurized after employees at the facility discovered an "uncontrolled gas release" from the top of a well house Friday morning, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The team halted the well leaks overnight, BP said in a statement on Monday. "All necessary notifications have been made to state and federal regulators". "However it is not now spraying crude oil". The good news is that based on aerial photographs of the well, the oil spill was contained in the gravel pad of the rig that is pumping oil and gas from the well.

ADEC earlier said in a statement that well pipe had temporarily "jacked up" or risen vertically about 3 feet to 4 feet, causing a pressure gauge to break off. The deadly Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico forced BP to sell billions of dollars in assets and set aside more than $50 billion to pay for damages.

North Slope production rose to 565,000 barrels a day in March, its highest level since December 2013. Back in 2009, a pipeline spilled some 1,100 barrels of crude in a BP-operated field. There was also a second leak at the well, which was emitting gas at a much reduced rate. So far there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife.

Like this: