Workers plug Alaska North Slope oil well that leaked gas

Alaska Commissioner of Revenue Randy Hoffbeck presents the annual spring forecast of government revenue at a Friday committee hearing

A BP drill site in Prudhoe Bay has been depressurized after employees at the facility discovered an "uncontrolled gas release" from the top of a well house Friday morning, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

On Sunday, responders were able to be able to close the valve and stop the spray of oil.

The EPA and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation have had to inform the Iñupiat community in Nuiqsut, Alaska, about 50 miles west of the well, about the incident, though the agencies don't clarify why.

There were no reports of harm to nature or injuries. The good news is that based on aerial photographs of the well, the oil spill was contained in the gravel pad of the rig that is pumping oil and gas from the well.

The bottom leak was releasing gas and a small amount of crude oil, the energy giant said.

The ADEC also said that two leaks have been identified at the well, one near the top and one further down the well assembly. It wasn't until Monday, however, that BP announced that the well had been killed and the oil had stopped flowing. The cause of the release, and when it began, are also unknown. The well has been shut in since Friday and the response is ongoing, BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience said by email Sunday.

The leak comes as the remote North Slope, once home to the US's biggest oilfields, enjoys a resurgence as producers work to boost output from ageing wells and extend their reach to new supplies. The production of the North Slope rose to about 565,000 Barrels per day in the month of March, which was the highest since the year 2013's month of December.

In 2006, a BP oil pipeline in Prudhoe Bay ruptured and spilled 215,000 gallons of crude oil over the North Slope.

BP has dealt with several spills and leaks in Alaska in the past.



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