A BP oil and gas production well in Alaska's North Slope blew out Friday morning, and on Saturday afternoon, the well was still not under control as responders fought subfreezing temperatures and winds gusting up to 38 miles per hour.
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. A second leak at the well was emitting gas at a reduced rate, according to a statement Sunday by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. So far there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife.
Based on aerial pictures, the release appeared to be confined to the gravel pad surrounding the well head and had not reached the surrounding tundra, BP said.
The bottom leak was releasing gas and a small amount of crude oil, the energy giant said. Eleven people died; 3.19 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico; and Native Americans saw their sacred land and seas covered in oil after the incident.
The spokesperson Brett Clanton, from BP's official team present there said the crew members used infrared cameras to see the condition of the leakage, which is found to be not that severe.
BP did not immediately respond to questions about how much oil the well typically produces.
Various state and federal agencies are gathering at BP's North Slope command post to respond to the situation. "The bottom leak has been reduced, but is now leaking gas as well as some minor amount of crude oil". Output there rose to 565,000 bpd in March, its highest level since December 2013.
By Sunday afternoon in Alaska, that had been stopped. Afterwards, BP must coordinate a cleanup with its internal oil spill response organization and Alaska Clean Seas, a nonprofit that specializes in oil spill response.