BP well in Alaska leaking gas after unknown incident

BP well in Alaska leaking gas after unknown incident
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A well operated by BP on Alaska’s North Slope is still releasing a stream of natural gas after the discovery of “an uncontrolled gas release” and oil spill on Friday. 

According to a Sunday report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the well is no longer spraying crude oil, as it was when employees of BP Exploration Alaska Inc. identified it on Friday. 

But the platform is still venting gas from a leak associated with a damaged pressure gauge. BP and other groups were still working on a response plan for the leak on Sunday, according to the report. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday morning. 

The cause of the spill is unknown, officials reported.

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Employees on Friday morning discovered leaks at the oil and gas well in Arctic Alaska about five miles from the remote town of Deadhorse. 

At the time, the well was spilling crude oil, but that plume did not leave the well pad, state regulators said. Officials haven’t been able to assess potential damage to the surrounding tundra or estimate how much oil was released from the well. 

The site was also venting natural gas from two locations: a leak near the top of the well and another lower down. Officials triggered a safety valve that both shut down the leak at the top of the well and reduced emissions from the second leak site, but the well was still releasing natural gas as of Sunday afternoon.