Snow falls in front of the Alaska Capitol in Downtown Juneau in March 2017
19 Abril, 2017, 07:21
A federal official says crews in Alaska are ready to shut down an oil well that is misting natural gas on the frozen North Slope, but officials say it's too unstable for responders to get close. BP said infrared cameras on a flight over the site appeared to confirm that the oil released with the gas was contained on the gravel pad surrounding the well head and the tundra had suffered no damage.
On Friday morning, leaks were discovered in the well due to which the spray of crude oil was stopped.
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.
Recreational cannabis is a $6 billion industry that is projected to reach $50 billion in legal annual sales by 2026. The well had been shut since Friday and the response is continuing, BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience said. Throughout the weekend, workers had to contend with gusting winds and subfreezing temperatures while attempting to staunch the flow of oil and natural gas. BP was fined $255 million by the state of Alaska for negligence in their maintenance of Prudhoe Bay pipelines. What's more, an earlier statement from the Unified Command Task Force tackling the spill said that the amount of oil leaked was small compared to the amount of gas that is being released.
North Slope production rose to 565,000 barrels a day in March, its highest level since December 2013.
Neither injuries nor impacts to the wildlife have been reported.
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which runs from Prudhoe Bay south to Valdez, isn't affected by this incident and is operating normally, Michelle Egan, a company spokeswoman, said by telephone Sunday.
The state Department on Environmental Conservation on Monday said the well operated by BP Exploration Alaska Inc., a subsidiary of BP, was "killed" at 3:35 a.m. Soon after, they determined that the well was also spraying a mist of crude oil.