Pipeline Leaks Oil During Testing in Alaskan Field, Another Setback for BP

By MarEx 2011-07-18 17:35:50

As BP tries to rebuild their reputation post-Deepwater Horizon, the company has reported yet another pipeline leak at their Alaskan oilfields with an oily water and methanol spill from a ruptured pipeline spilling 2,100 to 4,200 gallons onto Alaskan tundra.

BP announced that the pipeline leak took place at their currently closed for maintenance, 30,000 barrel-per-day Lisburne field.  They said that the pipe suffered a rupture during a test, spilling a mixture of methanol and oily water into the Alaskan surroundings, only adding to a long history of spills in the U.S. state and following the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed the amount of spillage at 2,100-4,200 gallons from the incident on Saturday, July 16 at the Greater Prudhoe Bay Unit-managed facility. 

A BP spokesman stated that the field was undergoing annual maintenance, and said the cleanup was underway.  They also stated that the company would determine the cause of the rupture in due course.

BP's field operations in Alaska 

The Lisburne field had not produced any oil since June 18, according to Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission records.  This assumes that the maintenance work taking place by BP was requiring a prolonged shutdown period. 

The methanol/oil leakage has spread into the wet tundra, as well as a gravel pad, posing threats to slow-growing vegetation, Tom DeRuyter, state on-scene coordinator for the Department of Environmental Conservation reports. 

All production at the Lisburne field remains shut off while the spill is cleaned up, according to Alaskan officals.