Jueves, 22 Junio, 2017

BP's Alaska Well Stops Leaking Oil, But Continues To Release Gas

Alaska Commissioner of Revenue Randy Hoffbeck presents the annual spring forecast of government revenue at a Friday committee hearing Oil spill reported in Alaska, volume unknown
Malita Javier | 21 Abril, 2017, 19:31

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.

The BP leak comes as the remote North Slope, once home to the biggest US oilfields, enjoys a resurgence as companies work to improve production from aging wells and extend their reach to new supplies; North Slope production rose to 565K bbl/day in March, its highest level since December 2013.

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Clanton said BP is focused on safely securing the well.

BP had a 201,000-gallon oil spill in March 2006 and a smaller spill five months later that ultimately caused it to halve production at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay for several weeks.

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The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the leak was plugged just after 3:30 a.m. Monday when the salt water offset upward pressure. BP was fined $255 million by the state of Alaska for negligence in their maintenance of Prudhoe Bay pipelines.

On Saturday night, responders from BP, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska DEC were able to connect hoses to valves and bleed pressure from the space surrounding the well's underground steel pipe. On April 7, Hilcorp announced that it would cut off the flow of natural gas in the most recent leak and fill the line with filtered seawater. The spill was discovered on Friday, and the oil leakage has since been contained but gas is still flowing from the well, according to the Alaskan Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Fossil fuel companies have long eyed portions of Alaska's North Slope now off-limits to oil and gas production, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 200 species of migratory birds and the last onshore area for polar bear dens. It has generated more than 12 billion barrels of oil, according to BP, and remains one of North America's largest oil fields. So far there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife.

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