Gathering Center 2 shut down by leak
BP Exploration Alaska has shut in about 100,000 barrels per day at Prudhoe Bay after a leak was discovered inside Gathering Center 2 May 21. BP spokesman Daren Beaudo told Petroleum News that 12 well pads are affected, the GC-2 operating area, the pads that provide oil, gas and water to the GC-2 facility.
The leak was in a weld in 12-inch carbon steel pipe coming from a tank that separates the mixture of oil, water and gas that comes from the wells. Beaudo said the affected pipe “is an integral part of the produced water handling system. Without it, we cannot process the three phases of oil, gas and water.”
Jonne Slemons, coordinator of the State of Alaska’s new Petroleum Systems Integrity Office, told The Associated Press that the office’s one inspector will remain on the North Slope all week. She said no timetable has been established to determine the cause of the leak. “We don’t have final or complete answers, yet, but it doesn’t appear to be a case of improper maintenance at this time,” Slemons said.
Beaudo said production was expected to be restarted within a few days.
—The Associated Press and the Anchorage Daily News contributed to this story