ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Attempts to bring a leaking well house under control at a BP drill site in Prudhoe Bay have been unsuccessful, according to the latest situation report released from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
ADEC says the time of the spill is unknown but it was reported Friday morning.
Two leaks have been discovered as of Saturday afternoon, "The top leak was misting oil in conjunction with releasing natural gas," according to the report.
Release on the top leak has been stopped "from that point" by the activation of a surface safety valve; however, the bottom leak has been reduced, but not stopped and is also releasing a minor amount of crude oil, according to the ADEC.
Teams were unsuccessful in attempting to bring the well under control Friday night," responders have determined that the well has “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," the report states.
ADEC says a unified command has been established, but crews are not able to assess the impacted area until the well has been controlled.
A BP drill site in Prudhoe Bay has been depressurized after employees at the facility discovered an “uncontrolled gas release” from the top of a well house Friday morning, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
“Source control has not yet been established,” ADEC wrote in a report. “The release is ongoing and no volume is available at this time.” The cause of the release, and when it began, are also unknown.
The natural gas leak also caused some crude oil to spray from the top of the well house onto the well pad and the surrounding tundra, the report says. So far there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife.
Various state and federal agencies are gathering at BP’s North Slope command post to respond to the situation. According to the report, BP plans to fly over the area to assess the impact of the spill.
“Responders are not able to safely asses the impacted area until the well has been controlled,” ADEC wrote.