Alaskan oil well leaking gas

  • Alaskan oil well leaking gas

Alaskan oil well leaking gas

United Kingdom oil giant BP has been engaged in controlling a damaged oil well on Alaska's remote North Slope over the weekend, after the well started venting natural gas vapours on Friday morning, according to the company and Alaska officials.

According to a Sunday report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the well is no longer spraying crude oil, as it was when employees of BP Exploration Alaska Inc. identified it on Friday.

According to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Candice Bressler, the well is back under control. So far, they report that no one has been injured and no wildlife impacted.

The total amount of oil spilled and whether the crude affected the snow-covered tundra nearby isn't yet clear, though authorities have expressed confidence the crude contamination is contained with a gravel area directly surrounding the well site.

But the release of vented natural gas means that the well is still leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat 86 times more effectively than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, into the atmosphere.

Closure of a safety valve stopped the spray of crude oil. "The bottom leak has been reduced, but is now leaking gas as well as some minor amount of crude oil". Both BP and ADEC, which used an airborne infrared camera to examine the scene, say that the vast majority of the spray landed on the drilling pad. A second leak that was emitting gas at a reduced rate was closed off overnight on Sunday, Bloomberg reported, citing a spokeswoman for BP.

Most companies are trying to do resurgence here and boost output of all the aging wells to extend their reach to brand-new supply sources. 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. Afterwards, BP must coordinate a cleanup with its internal oil spill response organization and Alaska Clean Seas, a nonprofit that specializes in oil spill response.