Skip to comments.Prudhoe Bay Winds Spread Leaking Gas, Oil and Water Across 27 Acres of Tundra
Posted on 04/30/2014 6:04:37 AM PDT by thackney
A flowline to a well operated by BP Exploration, Incorporated Prudhoe Bay leaked on Monday. High winds at Prudhoe Bay have resulted in a spray of natural gas, crude oil and water that covers an area larger than 20 football fields.
According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, operators with BP were working at a well, when a flowline leaking. Ashley Adamczak is an Environmental Program Specialist with DEC. She says 30-mile-an-hour winds on the North Slope sprayed leaking natural gas, water and crude oil across an estimated 27 acres of snow-covered tundra. What has not been delineated at this time is the part that has been moderately or lightly misted she says.
The leak was isolated roughly two hours after it began. With temperatures still below freezing on the North Slope, Adamczak says the entire well pad has been shut down in order to protect other wells from freezing or leaking.
There is millions of miles of pipe and thousands of wells on the North Slope, then spills do happen," she says. "Fortunately, we dont get a lot of these spills coming through, but I cant say that this is the first time that a spill like this has occurred.
Its still unclear how many gallons of gas, oil and water have spread across the tundra. Adamczak says cleanup will be challenging. Due to the fact that a lot of it was spilled to tundra, they have to go out there with less aggressive means, so that they dont actually make the response activities cause more of an impact than the spill did, so a lot of the cleanup will probably be done with hand tools and thats a lot of area to address with hand tools at these temperatures.
DEC is working with the North Slope Borough, BP Exploration and the Environmental Protection agency to respond to the incident. Theres no estimate on how long it will take, but Adamczak says the agencies hope to complete cleanup before migrating geese start to arrive on the North Slope.
Click pictures for high resolution images.
Overtime and jobs for the clean up.
Not even close to a disaster but I am sure CNN will break from the Malaysian Aircraft never ending story to spend a few weeks on this.
Maybe it’ll help keep the skeeters down.
Thanks for posting the pictures - it looks pretty cold there ...
It should warm above freezing a couple time over the next few days before dropping back down to the ‘teens later in the week.
27 / 375,303,680 = 0.00000007
I'm guessing most sane Alaskans aren't seeing an apocalypse in this ?
Really ? d:^)
geez, what is it with BP they seem to have a very poor quality control system.
If you’ve got corroded or eroded thin walls on that pipe burst section, you know all the pipe that age has to be replaced. Similar wall thinning will be everywhere.
It seems to me that the ignored story about Fukishima Daichi is much more environment changing and life threatening than a few drops of oil in the Tundra. The oil will leach back into the ground, but the Pacific is polluted with radiation forever. http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/04/tepco-total-tritium-in-fukushima-3400000000000000-bq-jp-gov-considers-to-dilute-and-discharge-to-the-pacific/
Either that or the Donald Sterling Racism story is going to have to be cut back to make a few minutes, my money is on a few minutes less devoted to the missing plane.
I was a pipe inspector, that’s not necessarily true.
I defy anyone to detect any effect from this on the next Google Earth overflight imagery.
OK, oil could be a problem, I'll grant you that.
Spilling water across the tundra? Unless I'm missing something, there's lots of water already there, although it might be rather hard water.
And gas? If they mean natural gas, well, it's hard to "spill" natural gas onto the ground. And if they mean gasoline, well, have they managed to drill a gasoline well and do away with the refining process, or what?
The water that is produced with the oil production is typically salty and otherwise poisons to plant growth until it is treated. It will be gathered up with the oil. Since the ground is still frozen clean up will involve very little contaminated soil.
It is not a major catastrophic event. I was trying to get that information out to Freepers before the Lame Stream Media blows it out of proportion.
Today, (where not covered by thousands of houses and streets) I can show you forest there that is so thick you can't hack your way through it.
This "disaster" is an absolute joke -- pure liberal knee-jerk hyperbole and lack of perspective.
Look at the close-up of the pipe rupture: even there you can see only a flew spatters of oil. The "omig_d!" photos simply show a light spray-painting of color atop the otherwise pristine snow.
I guarantee that, without the snow for contrast, you could not see enough oil to photograph. If anything, the minute traces of hydrocarbons will serve as fertilizer when the snow melts.
Izzy, in this example, the "gas" was almost certainly "natural gas" (methane -- aka "cow farts") -- which just served as the "spray-paint propellant:..
However, in certain high light-fraction crudes, traces of gasoline do occur naturally. Oilmen call it "casinghead gas" or "drip gas". I remember my dad and his fellow oil company employees collecting the stuff at the wellhead "christmas trees" to run in their cars during the gasoline rationing during WWII...
Bottom line: this report is nothing but pure liberal eco-freako hyperbole.
Not on the Alaskan North Slope. It will all be cleaned up due to environmental regulations.
That place doesn't even let them fuel the pickup without a catch basin to catch a single drip from the fuel nozzle.
Give us a break from such nonsense.
The many islands where the nuclear test were preformed by the US have recovered.
They were exposed to thousands of times as much radiation as Fukishima has released in it's entirety.
In the similar line of thought, if a caribou blocks the road, we were only allowed to sit and wait. Getting close to the caribou (or other wildlife), or even blowing your horn to encourage it to move, was a firing offence. I suspect violators were at risk for never being permitted to work on the North Slope for any employer after getting caught.
How do you think the amount of radiation released at Fukishima compares to the 105 Nuclear Bomb tesst the US conducted in the Pacific?
While it this doesn't apply in this high pressure leak, often on the Alaskan North slope we would get slow, low volume leaks, that run inside the insulation to a low point until it gathered enough volume to dump out, often hundreds of feet from the actual leak. Stripping off the insulation in a cold, dark Alaskan winter at -20 to -50 was not a job I ever wanted.
I was on a job on gov’t property in the desert. The sagebrush is protected! A piece of equipment broke a hose and a cup or so of hydraulic fluid spilled on the ground. The guys were prepared and had buckets and shovels and soak pads to clean it up.
And they reported it right away. Job was shut down for a few weeks in order for the gov’t to inspect the job site, go over the equip. maintenance, etc.
That would be inline with my experience on the North Slope. 2,300 reported spills could be a low number since the Alaskan North Slope production began.
Dropping a used oil filter from the pickup would be reported spill.