Alaska Says BP Oil And Gas Leak Stopped

Ice covers a portion of Cook Inlet earlier this month. Divers stopped a leak from a Hilcorp Alaska natural gas pipeline in 80 feet of water this week in the inlet where endangered beluga whales live

The leak was discovered the morning of April 14 and responders are addressing it. According to the report, BP plans to fly over the area to assess the impact of the spill.

Within an hour, they detected that the well also was spraying a mist of crude oil. "Overnight, the Unified Command achieved source control and killed the well".

Shares in BP were down 2.3% at 460.15 pence Tuesday.

But the release of vented natural gas means that the well is still leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat 86 times more effectively than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, into the atmosphere. 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 Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says employees discovered the "uncontrolled gas release" from the top of a well house at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Output there rose to 565,000 bpd in March, its highest level since December 2013.

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"Whenever you have an out-of-control well like this, that means something very serious went wrong", Lois Epstein, Arctic Program Director for environmentalist group The Wilderness Society, told Bloomberg.

The community of Nuiqsut, 50 miles west of the site, had been notified of the incident, but was not evacuated. By Sunday night, the well had settled about 11 in. So far, officials have triggered a safety valve to slow the release of natural gas from the well, but the well was still leaking as of Sunday afternoon. 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.

A subsidiary of BP is reporting a crude oil spill on Alaska's North Slope.

Alaskan North Slope crude was valued at $1.90 a barrel over US benchmark West Texas Intermediate on April 13.

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