BP finally caps leaking oil well on Alaska's North Slope

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A well on the North Slope of Alaska owned by BP, the UK-based oil and gas company, is no longer spraying crude oil but is still emitting natural gas, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, or ADEC, said on Sunday. Workers from the Alaska Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency on Saturday, April 15, 2017, were able to connect hoses to valves that allow pressure in the well to be reduced, according to a statement from the state conservation department.

Though no injuries or damage to wildlife had been reported, crews trying to secure the well had failed amid biting winds blowing up to 38 miles an hour. Officials say oil likely spilled only on the well pad and not nearby tundra.

The site was also venting natural gas from two locations: a leak near the top of the well, and another lower down.

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BP was behind the worst oil spill in the United States: the 2010 Gulf oil spill. It wasn't until Monday, however, that BP announced that the well had been killed and the oil had stopped flowing. Both BP and ADEC, which used an airborne infrared camera to examine the scene, say that the vast majority of the spray landed on the drilling pad. BP and other groups were still working on a response plan for the leak on Sunday, according to the report.

The leak comes as the remote North Slope, once home to the US's biggest oilfields, enjoys a resurgence as producers work to boost output from ageing wells and extend their reach to new supplies.

It is still unclear, how much oil has spilled.

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Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which runs from Prudhoe Bay south to Valdez, isn't affected by this incident and is operating normally, Michelle Egan, a company spokeswoman, said by telephone Sunday.

BP had a 201,000-gallon oil spill in March 2006 and a smaller spill five months later that ultimately caused it to halve production at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay for several weeks.

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