Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Workers relieve pressure on leaking Alaska oil well

Nellie Chapman | 18 April, 2017, 01:58

There have been no injuries and no reports of harm to wildlife.

At the time, the well was spilling crude oil, but that plume did not leave the well pad, state regulators said. The cause of the well bursting remains unknown.

The ADEC also said that two leaks have been identified at the well, one near the top and one further down the well assembly.

The well is part of the Prudhoe Bay field, which in March produced an average 315,395 barrels a day, according to data from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

However, agency spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski says a second crack was discovered that's releasing flammable, explosive gas. Hilcorp Alaska has discovered several oil and natural-gas leaks in pipelines, but ice made had it impossible to fix the leaks.

Oil field workers have reduced the pressure in an oil well that is leaking natural gas on Alaska's frozen North Slope. There is no estimation of the volume of oil spilled or the amount of natural gas that is still coming from the wellhead. Oil was spraying from a leak near the top of the well.

Alaskan North Slope crude was valued at $1.90 a barrel over US benchmark West Texas Intermediate on April 13. Well pressure is being monitored and excess pressure is being bled off to keep it within a safe range. Continuous air monitoring has been established around the well, and the situation remained stable overnight. The accident was the worst oil spill in the North Slope, but thankfully does not even come close to the millions of barrels that the Macondo well gushed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11. Cleanup plans will be developed through the Incident Command System and with guidance from the Unified Command. Throughout the weekend, workers had to contend with gusting winds and subfreezing temperatures while attempting to staunch the flow of oil and natural gas.