Workers plug gas leak at Alaska petroleum well

The company is putting together a plan to plug the gas leak, the statement said.

The BP leak comes as the remote North Slope, once home to the biggest USA 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. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the well is no longer spraying crude oil, but workers have not been able to staunch the flow of natural gas. Oil droplets were found on about 1.5 acres of the well's drill pad, according to The Associated Press. Soon after, they determined that the well was also spraying a mist of crude oil.

The network said other quantities of natural gas were leaking from the site along with crude oil and investigations were underway to find out the causes of the accident. Once well control has been achieved, BPXA will work with their Oil Spill Response Organization, Alaska Clean Seas (ACS), to delineate the impacted area.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Candice Bressler says the well operated by BP Exploration Alaska Inc., a subsidiary of BP, was successfully controlled overnight.

The well is about five miles from the airport at Deadhorse, a remote town in northern Alaska that has been the service center for tapping the Prudhoe Bay oil field, the largest ever discovered in the United States. BP was fined $255 million by the state of Alaska for negligence in their maintenance of Prudhoe Bay pipelines.

Oil field workers have reduced the pressure in an oil well that is leaking natural gas on Alaska's frozen North Slope. It wasn't until Monday, however, that BP announced that the well had been killed and the oil had stopped flowing. Well pressure is being monitored and excess pressure is being bled off to keep it within a safe range.

An unknown about of oil reached the well pad.

  • Zachary Reyes