Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

BP's Alaska North Slope Well Stops Leaking Crude Oil

The leak initially was discovered Friday morning when BP employees saw crude oil spraying out of the top of the well, located at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope.

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

A second leak at the well was emitting gas at a reduced rate, the state's environmental conservation department said. 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. The team halted the well leaks overnight, BP said in a statement on Monday.

"The well is no longer leaking any gas or oil", spokeswoman Dawn Patience told Bloomberg via email.

"Responders determined that the well had 'jacked up, ' or risen, approximately 3 - 4 feet; this vertical movement of the well caused the pressure gauge to break off and prevented operations from pumping into the well to kill it", ADEC reported.

"Crews are on the scene and are developing plans to bring the well under control, " said Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman, "and safety will remain our top priority as we move through this process". Environmentalists, describing the well as "out of control", called on the state to investigate. 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. This last March, daily output in the area hit 565,000 bpd - the highest in more than three years. But the continuing natural gas leak continues to be a problem. But its infamous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused the world's attention on the environmental and economic importance of the Gulf of Mexico.

The task force comprising BP, officials from the local government of the North Slope, the EPA, and the ADEP has been dealing with the spill since Friday.

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