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Alaskan oil well leaking gas

18 April 2017

By Sunday afternoon, one of the leaks had been plugged with a surface safety valve, but the second leak, although reduced, continued to release gas, according to federal and state officials. The spill was discovered on Friday, and the oil leakage has since been contained but gas is still flowing from the well, according to the Alaskan Department of Environmental Conservation.

Based on aerial photographs, it appears that the crude spray plume has not left the gravel pad where the rig is located, the ADEC added.

In general, oil companies have been producing oil and pumping associated natural gas back into reservoirs. The bottom leak is now leaking gas as well as some minor amount of crude oil. The team halted the well leaks overnight, BP said in a statement on Monday. Responders were unsuccessful on Friday night due to damage to a pressure gauge.

BP, whose Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out and caused the largest oil spill in US history, has responded to questions about the well, but information was limited and there was no estimate about volumes of natural gas and oil released.

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The public image of BP is still recovering from the 2010 explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 people and affected beaches and wetlands.

According to Bloomberg, BP is now "putting together a plan to plug the gas leak".

It is still unclear, how much oil has spilled. So far no injuries or wildlife impacts have been reported. Throughout the weekend, workers had to contend with gusting winds and subfreezing temperatures while attempting to staunch the flow of oil and natural gas.

The leak comes as the remote North Slope, once home to America's biggest oilfields, has seen signs of a resurgence as producers work to boost output from aging wells and extend their reach to new supplies.