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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — State oil and gas regulators are reviewing the mechanical integrity of BP wells in northern Alaska after a well released gas and a small amount of oil in a manner that appears similar to a 2017 leak, officials said.

The leak at the well on the North Slope began Dec. 6 and was stopped after two full days, BP in Alaska spokeswoman Megan Baldino told the Anchorage Daily News.

“BP immediately reported the incident in accordance with state and federal laws,” Baldino said.

No one was injured, and BP is investigating the spill, Baldino said. The spilled oil was confined to the immediate well-house area and did not impact tundra, she said.

The well apparently rose suddenly, or “jacked up,” said Tom DeRuyter, on-scene coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Equipment on top of the wellhead hit the top of the well house, damaging a valve seal and causing the leak, he said.

The oil and gas release last month appears to be a “failure event” similar to the uncontrolled release of well fluids in 2017, said Hollis French, chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, in a letter to Janet Weiss, head of BP in Alaska.

In April 2017, a wellhead and valve assembly jacked up, striking the roof of the well house and causing an oil and gas release, DeRuyter said.

The release led to a review of North Slope wells and the shut-in of 14 of BP wells with similar designs.

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has sent a list of questions to BP and has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 7.


Information from: Anchorage Daily News,