Phillips Alaska Inc. had a produced water spill at Kuparuk drill site 2A yesterday.
Phillips said a six-inch production line spilled 1,200 gallons of produced water in a 1,000 square foot area of the gravel pad. The produced water was 92 percent water and 8 percent crude (96 gallons of crude).
The company said the drill site operator was able to isolate the leak, which occurred at 10:30 a.m., within three minutes, and immediately stopped all liquid flow. The spill was entirely contained on the gravel pad.
Phillips Alaska spokeswoman Dawn Patience told PNA the response team was on the site in less than 30 minutes; DEC approved the company's response and decided not to send staff to the site, she said.
Patience said the spill was caused by a pin hole in the weld on the six-inch production line.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a 9:15 a.m. April 8 report that the cause was under investigation, but noted that a pin-size hole was observed around a fitting weld.
DEC said a "super sucker" removed snow, ice and gravel beneath the module. Approximately 14 cubic yards of contaminated snow had been removed from the site this morning and hand shovels and jackhammers were to be used to remove remaining impacted snow and gravel.
The agency said contaminated material would be transported to a waste disposal pit at drill site 1H. Once the contaminated snow melts it will be recycled. Contaminated gravel will be disposed of at the grind and inject facility.
DEC said valves were closed both in the manifold building and at the well and the flow line was depressurized and blinded until the cause is found and repairs made.