Big Alaskan oil spill initially undetected

Mar 15, 2006

A 267,000-gallon oil spill, the largest on Alaska's North Slope, reportedly went undetected for up to five days before it was discovered this month.

BP officials told a Tuesday news conference in Anchorage the leak at the Prudhoe Bay oil production complex began as a pinprick-sized hole in a 34-inch pipeline, part of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The pressure in the pipe expanded the hole to about one-half inch, still small enough so as not to set off alarms.

The spill was detected by a BP worker driving through the area March 2, Maureen Johnson, BP's senior vice president and manager of the company's Prudhoe Bay operation, told reporters.

BP officials said the leak occurred in a section of pipe built during the late 1970's and is the first of such a magnitude resulting from the decay of the aging oil pipeline, The Times reported.

The largest oil spill in Alaska occurred in 1989, when approximately 11 million gallons flowed into Prince William Sound when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Staying warm: The hot gas in clusters of galaxies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Keystone pipeline passes one US legislative hurdle

Nov 14, 2014

The US House of Representatives on Friday approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada, but the measure could still find itself blocked in the Senate.

Oil spill sullies river in Ecuador

Jun 03, 2013

A Petroecuador pipeline ruptured in Ecuador's Amazon basin region, spilling 10,000 barrels of crude into a river and alarming locals left without fresh well water, authorities said Monday.

China's CNOOC cleaning up after another oil spill

Oct 16, 2011

Chinese oil giant CNOOC said Sunday it has suspended production at a platform off northeastern China after a ruptured pipe leaked crude into Bohai Bay, in the lastest spill to hit the company.

Montana questions Exxon's estimate of oil spilled

Jul 12, 2011

(AP) -- Montana environmental regulators have asked Exxon Mobil to justify its estimate for how much oil spilled into the Yellowstone River, citing the company's changing timeline on how long it took to stop ...

Recommended for you

Staying warm: The hot gas in clusters of galaxies

1 hour ago

Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the "Local Group," a band of about fifty galaxies whose other large member is the ...

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

5 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

14 hours ago

Computer Scientists from The University of Manchester have boosted NASA space missions by pioneering a global project to develop programs that efficiently test and control NASA spacecraft.

ESA image: The gold standard

15 hours ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

Frost-covered chaos on Mars

15 hours ago

Thanks to a break in the dusty 'weather' over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA's Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.