BP Spill News

Anchorage Daily News
February 19, 2009


BP reports spill at Prudhoe Bay; 11 wells offline
Anchorage Daily News
Published: February 19th, 2009 09:28 AM
Last Modified: February 19th, 2009 01:37 PM

An unknown amount of oil, natural gas and produced water spilled from a Prudhoe Bay pipeline this week in an incident under investigation by state regulators.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said today that BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., which runs Prudhoe Bay, reported the spill Wednesday afternoon.

The spill came from a flow line — a 24-inch-diameter pipeline that carries the oil, gas and water that come up wells to a plant where they’re separated. This pipe runs from Drill Site 9 at Prudhoe.

The leaking of oil and water stopped about 6 p.m. Wednesday. The pipeline has been shut in and is being emptied and will be repaired, the DEC said.

“The spill occurred on a gravel pad and under a snow bank. The snow should enhance the containment of the spilled products,” the agency said.

BP told DEC that the leak mainly involved natural gas. “The release point in the flow line is under a snow bank, and there is significant snow in the vicinity. The snow is currently being removed to access the spill site so that the contaminated material can be removed and the hole in the line repaired,” DEC said.

Eleven wells were shut down temporarily because of the incident, affecting 1,300 to 1,400 barrels of oil production a day, DEC said. BP is working on rerouting production from the wells so they can be restarted.

Prudhoe Bay, the state’s biggest oil field, has had a series of spills in recent years that have led to heightened oversight by state and federal regulators of operations there.

BP runs the field on behalf of itself, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and Chevron.



BP to pay almost $180 million in pollution case
The Associated Press
Published: February 19th, 2009 02:12 PM
Last Modified: February 19th, 2009 02:13 PM

WASHINGTON — The international energy giant BP has agreed to pay almost $180 million to settle a pollution case with the government.

BP Products North America Inc., a unit of British oil company BP, agreed to spend $161 million on pollution controls, pay another $12 million in penalties, and spend another $6 million on a project to reduce air pollution near its Texas City, Texas refinery.

The settlement with the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency follows a deadly explosion and fire in March 2005 that killed 15 people and injured more than 170 others.

In the incident, the company has already pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act and agreed to pay a separate fine of $50 million.

The settlement addresses what the government identified as the company’s failure to comply with a 2001 consent decree requiring tight controls on benzene during the refining of petroleum.

Benzene is a hazardous air pollutant known to cause cancer, damage the nerve and immune systems, and affect reproduction and development.

BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said the company has spent more than $100 million over the past 15 years on benzene emission controls for the refinery.

“We are pleased to have achieved this settlement and will work to continue reducing emissions and to ensure regulatory compliance at Texas City,” Beaudo said.

The government says the new efforts will reduce emissions of benzine and other volatile organic compounds at the site by 6,000 pounds a year.

BP has also agreed to eliminate roughly 51,000 pounds of ozone-depleting hydro-chlorofluorocarbons, often referred to as HCFC’s, by modernizing industrial cooling appliances at the refinery.

~ by fredfelleman on February 20, 2009.

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