March Alaska North Slope production was down 9.2 percent from February due to shut-in of some 100,000 barrels per day at Prudhoe Bay following the March 2 Gathering Center 2 oil spill and clean-up.
Prudhoe Bay production, which averaged 400,383 barrels per day in February, averaged only 318,515 bpd for March, a 20.5 percent drop. On March 1, prior to discovery of the spill at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated field, Prudhoe Bay produced 416,479 barrels. Production dropped to 323,365 barrels March 2, then to 272,799 barrels March 3 before stabilizing at volumes above 300,000 bpd for the remainder of the month.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said cleanup operations at the GC-2 spill site are nearly complete. The agency said April 3 that all free-flowing oil, contaminated snow and contaminated vegetation have been trimmed or removed from the main area of the spill. The agency said BP restarted GC-2 the evening of April 2 and is using a 24-inch bypass line to “slowly return production from the GC-2 operating area over the coming weeks.”
Alaska North Slope production averaged 768,498 bpd in March compared to 846,127 bpd in February.
Editor’s note: see story in April 9 issue of Petroleum News