An oil and gas production well operated by BP Exploration Alaska Inc. in Prudhoe Bay has been killed and is no longer leaking natural gas, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in an Apr. 17 statement. Crews are now working to install a mechanical plug to permanently secure the well.
The leak was reported on Apr. 14 on BP’s flow station 1, drill site 2, well 3 about 5 miles from the Deadhorse Airport, ADEC said.
The well had been venting gas, which caused an initial spray of crude oil that impacted the well pad, ADEC said.
The well was killed by pumping in salt water, offsetting upward pressure, ADEC reported. Responders from well control contractor Boots & Coots were able to safely enter the well house and place a plug in the damaged riser coming off the wellhead.
Currently the situation is not yet safe for cleanup responders to access the area in order to confirm no impacts to adjacent tundra, ADEC said, adding that so far there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife and no injuries. No estimate of the leak volume is available at this time.