After nearly a month of round-the-clock activity, a North Slope oil well that blew out in February is officially under control, according to state information released over the last few days.
The work on the Repsol E&P USA Inc. well is now in the cleanup phase.
Crews have set and pressure tested two cement plugs in the Qugruk No. 2 well, according to a March 16 situation report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. “Although the well plug and abandonment efforts are ongoing, it has been determined that it is safe to begin the cleanup activities,” the state wrote in its report.
The crews divided the off-pad cleanup area into four zones, completed delineation of two zones and plan to complete the other two as weather permits, according to a March 18 situation report. The site delineation is a first step toward finalizing a cleanup plan.
The operator of the well, Repsol E&P USA, told the state it had removed 91,938 gallons of liquids (thawed drilling mud and water), and 2,363 cubic yards of solids (frozen drilling mud and downhole materials) from the site during cleanup efforts to date.
See story in March 25 issue, available online Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m. at www.PetroleumNews.com