One-Gallon Oil Spill Halts Pioneer’s Alaska Output

12 April 2010 (Last Updated April 12th, 2010 18:30)

A one-gallon oil leak blamed on a corroded pipeline operated by ConocoPhillips has forced Pioneer Natural Resources to suspend production at its nearby Oooguruk field on Alaska's North Slope, state and company officials said. Production at Oooguruk, which is usually 14,000 to 15,000bpd,

A one-gallon oil leak blamed on a corroded pipeline operated by ConocoPhillips has forced Pioneer Natural Resources to suspend production at its nearby Oooguruk field on Alaska's North Slope, state and company officials said.

Production at Oooguruk, which is usually 14,000 to 15,000bpd, was shut in last week after ConocoPhillips discovered the leak, Pioneer spokesman Tadd Owens told Reuters.

The leak, blamed on external corrosion, came from a flow line that carries oil from drill sites to a processing centre at the ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk oilfield, which is the the second-largest in the USA.

Oooguruk began production in 2008, making it one of the newest fields on the North Slope.

The spill affected one square foot of snow-covered tundra and was easily cleaned up, reports Reuters.