Oil Spill in Alaska
|ANCHORAGE (Reuters) - An estimated 1.4 million cubic feet of natural gas and an unknown quantity of crude oil spewed from a leak in a pipeline at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska's North Slope, state environmental regulators said on Tuesday. The resulting mist of crude oil coated an area nearly a mile long and averaged about 300 feet wide, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement. |
Field operator BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. discovered and reported the leak, the state agency said. BP was trying to calculate the amount of oil spilled. The leak came from a failed weld in a pipe that carries natural gas for injection into a well. BP immediately shut down production at the affected drill site to control the situation, said company spokesman Andrew Van Chau. Production at the site, typically 10,000 barrels per day, resumed late in the afternoon. The cleanup will be conducted "as long as it takes," Van Chau said.
Prudhoe Bay is Alaska's biggest oil field. Along with operator BP, major field owners are ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil.