A leak at a BP Exploration Alaska Inc. well that had sprayed crude oil and vented natural gas into an area near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, has been stopped, state environmental officials said Monday. Fox News is reporting there are actually two leaks - one near the top and one further down the well assembly, says BP. What's more, an earlier statement from the Unified Command Task Force tackling the spill said that the amount of oil leaked was small compared to the amount of gas that is being released.
A spokesman for Alaska's local authorities said the clean-up would only begin after the leak from the oil well had stopped.
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The well, located in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area, is venting gas, which caused a spray of crude oil to impact the well pad, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement on Saturday.
The department says the well will not be officially secured until a mechanical plug is put in place.
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By looking at the aerial pictures that were released by the department, it seems that the release is under control and contained to the gravel pad only, which surrounds the head of the well. "However it is not now spraying crude oil".
Responders determined the well had risen 3-4 feet, causing a pressure gauge to break off and preventing responders from pumping material into the well to kill it. But its infamous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused the world's attention on the environmental and economic importance of the Gulf of Mexico.
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BP employees discovered an uncontrolled natural gas leak Friday at a well five miles from the Deadhorse airport. Back in 2009, a pipeline spilled some 1,100 barrels of crude in a BP-operated field. Fortunately, there were no reports on the matter of injuries or any kind of unintended harm towards the wildlife of Alaska.
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