Processing Magazine

BP has second pipe break at Alaska facility

April 18, 2006

British oil giant BP PLC said that a second pipeline ruptured at its Alaskan facility, a month after the company reported its largest-ever spill at an oilfield on Alaska''s Northern Slope. According to the Associated Press, the break occurred on a three-inch wide natural gas line on April 6 near a production building at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said. The break resulted in an estimated leak of 12,000 cubic feet of natural gas, well below regulatory standards for reporting, Beaudo said. The rupture follows a massive spill at the facility last month in a pipeline between two gathering centers. As much as 270,000 gallons of crude spilled into the oilfield over an estimated period of five days. The Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation into the spill, Beaudo said, and has subpoenaed a consulting firm that participated in the company''s corrosion control efforts. Alaska environmental regulators said that an investigation into last month''s spill could result in fines against BP subsidiary BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. of more than $2 million.