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: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oil spill Israel's 'biggest ecological disaster'

Dec 08, 2014

A pipeline leak in southern Israel last week has caused the country's biggest environmental disaster, an energy expert said Monday, after estimates of the size of the spillage were raised.

Oil spill threatens Israel nature reserve

Dec 05, 2014

A major pipeline leak has caused oil to gush into the Arava desert in southern Israel, threatening a protected nature reserve, officials said Thursday.

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.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

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.