Finance

Natural Gas Leaking From BP Well in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay

Natural Gas Leaking From BP Well in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay

Crews are on site and working to shut down the well, BP spokesman Brett Clanton said Sunday. The spray of crude, along with "minor" oil leakage over the past few days, was fairly isolated and stopped leaking altogether Sunday, according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

In 2010, a BP well became the site of the worst offshore oil spill in USA history. The infamous Exxon Valdez, which in 1989 spilled tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Alaska, was carrying oil extracted from Prudhoe Bay. The team halted the well leaks overnight, BP said in a statement on Monday.

Alaskan and federal officials had identified two leaks spewing methane gas which is linked to climate change.

Leaks were first detected Friday in the well operated by BP Exploration Alaska Inc., a subsidiary of BP.

No people were at the well when it burst, and no injuries have been reported.

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BP and state regulators are investigating the cause. The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge also contains vast reserves of oil - as much as 16 billion recoverable barrels, by some estimates.

A subsidiary of BP is reporting a crude oil spill on Alaska's North Slope. North Slope production was up to 565,000 barrels a day in March, its highest level since December 2013.

An earlier report by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said pressure in the well had caused the well assembly and equipment to "jack up", or rise, three to four feet, hampering efforts to shut off the gas leak.

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.


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