BP working to control damaged oil in Alaska

Cheryl Sanders
April 18, 2017

There were no reports of harm to nature or injuries.

The leak came as the remote North Slope, once home to America's biggest oilfields, has seen signs of a resurgence with producers working to boost output from aging wells and extend their reach to new supplies.

In an emailed statement, BP said the well, located at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska's North Slope, began to leak Friday. Soon after, they determined that the well was also spraying a mist of crude oil.

A second leak at the well was emitting gas at a reduced rate, the state's environmental conservation department said.

BP has dealt with several spills and leaks in Alaska in the past.

An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect name for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Oil droplets likely were contained to 1.5 acres (0.61 hectares) of the drill pad, responders said.

The well is too unsafe at this time for a response team made up of state and federal energy officials and BP employees to get near the well. North Slope production was up to 565,000 barrels a day in March, its highest level since December 2013.

BP Exploration Alaska Inc. confirmed Monday that its well five miles from the airport at Deadhorse was successfully "killed" overnight.

Based on aerial pictures, the release appeared to be confined to the gravel pad surrounding the well head and had not reached the surrounding tundra, BP said.

BP, whose Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out and caused the largest oil spill in US history, has responded to questions about the well, but information was limited and there was no estimate about volumes of natural gas and oil released. So far, officials have triggered a safety valve to slow the release of natural gas from the well, but the well was still leaking as of Sunday afternoon.

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