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Oil and Gas Well Near Prundhoe Bay, Alaska has leaked
April 26, 2017

BPXA, Alaska DEC, U.S. EPA and North Slope Borough Form Unified Command in Response to Oil and Gas Well Discharge Near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

A Unified Command, consisting of responders from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the North Slope Borough, and BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA) has been established to respond to the BP Flow Station 1 Drill Site 2 Well 3 natural gas and crude oil discharge near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The Unified Command will ensure safe and efficient coordination of resources and information amongst BPXA and state and federal regulators. To date, there have been no injuries and no reported impacts to wildlife.

BPXA Well 3 is located in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area, approximately 5 miles from the Deadhorse Airport on Alaska’s North Slope. On April 14, 2017, at approximately 7:30 am, BPXA employees discovered an uncontrolled gas release from the top of Well 3. At approximately 8:15 am, BPXA confirmed the crude spray from the top of the well house and reported the spill to ADEC via the Fairbanks spill reporting line and to U.S. EPA via the National Response Center.

The well is no longer venting gas, which caused an initial spray of crude oil that impacted the well pad. A Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) overflight on April 14, 2017, showed that the crude spray plume did not leave the pad. The impacted area is limited to the reserve pit of the gravel pad, however cleanup responders have not yet confirmed there are no impacts to adjacent tundra. No volume estimate for the crude spray released is available at this time.

ADEC and U.S. EPA have mobilized response personnel to the Unified Incident Command Post located on the North Slope. Continuous air monitoring has been established around the well.

The cause of the release is unknown at this time. ADEC is coordinating with BPXA and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) to investigate the cause of the release. Well 3 is an oil and gas production well.

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