Alaska Clean-up Begins

1 December 2009 (Last Updated December 1st, 2009 18:30)

Work has started to remove oil that leaked from a BP pipeline at the Lisburne field in Greater Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska. Last week, BP and Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation detected the spill from the Lisburne pipeline, which carries a blend of crude oil, natural gas and water.

Work has started to remove oil that leaked from a BP pipeline at the Lisburne field in Greater Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska. Last week, BP and Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation detected the spill from the Lisburne pipeline, which carries a blend of crude oil, natural gas and water.

Investigations are currently underway to ascertain the cause of the spill and the amount of leaking crude. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said that the spilled material had spread across 8,400ft² of snow-covered tundra, but had not spread further.

The pipeline was not in operation during the spill. BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said the pipeline had been shut down because ice had formed in a couple of places along the pipeline.

A 24in hydrocarbons line, which is connected to the leaking pipeline, has subsequently been taken out of operation after the leak was detected, and was repressurised to avoid freezing.

Rinehart said the leakage caused only minor impact to production, when the leak happened on 29 November, with production fully resumed on 30 November. According to BP and state authorities, the leak has been stopped.