Response team plugs Prudhoe Bay well
The team responding to the venting of gas from a well on Drill Site 2 of the Prudhoe Bay oil field has successfully installed a mechanical plug into the well, thus fully securing the well, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has announced. Responders had previously killed the well by pumping salt water into the well. However, with the well brought under control through the application of fluid under pressure to the well bore, it was necessary to mechanically plug the well to complete the securing of the well.
As the response to the incident moves into its cleanup phase, the unified command for the incident will stand down, ADEC says. Initially oil from a second leak in the well head had been sprayed from the wellhead by the venting gas. The oil leak was stopped by the earlier activation of the well's surface safety valve.
The oil spray only appears to have impacted an area of about 1.5 acres in the reserve pit of the Drill Site 2 gravel pad.
- ALAN BAILEY
This is an update to a story in the April 23 issue of Petroleum News which had already gone to press when the latest Drill Site 2 situation report was issued.
Hilcorp has determined the cause of the Anna platform oil spill
Hilcorp has solved the mystery of an oil spill that happened at the Anna platform in the Cook Inlet on April 1. Apparently the oil had come from the platform's fuel gas flare system, following a jolt to the platform caused by ice on the water of the inlet.
After isolating the fuel gas flare on the platform for maintenance, an alternative fuel gas source for the pilot was drawn from an adjacent well, David Wilkins, Hilcorp Alaska senior vice president, has told Petroleum News. Then, during the repair, small amounts of liquid hydrocarbons were able to drop out and accumulate in the flare system. Later, when the platform was jolted by ice, the fluid was forced out of the flare system line and into the water of the inlet, Wilkins said. Hilcorp estimates that less than three gallons of oil was released, he said.
Hilcorp has taken corrective measures and, in future, to prevent a re-occurrence, the company will use a gas source upstream of the fuel gas scrubber for this type of operation, Wilkins said.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in the April 23 issue, available online Friday, April 21, at www.PetroleumNews.com