Gas leak reported at North Slope oilfield drill site; no injuries reported
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - ConocoPhillips Alaska has reported a natural gas leak at a drill site at one of its oilfields on the North Slope. No injuries have been reported and the facility is continuing operations.
The leak was first observed early Friday morning at the Alpine Field, said ConocoPhillips Alaska spokesperson Rebecca Boys in an email. The gas leak is at one of the drill sites, and is subsurface and below the gravel, she said.
“The cause of the leak is being investigated,” Boys wrote. “The Alpine Emergency Response Team is onsite and is working to stop the leak and minimize potential impact to the environment.”
The Colville River Unit, more commonly known as the Alpine Field, is an onshore oil field on the western North Slope operated by ConocoPhillips Alaska. It’s about 34 miles west of the Kuparuk River Field and just eight miles north of the village of Nuiqsut.
Boys said the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been notified. She said there are no safety concerns “outside of the immediate area,” and no gas has been detected outside the area of the drilling site.
According to ConocoPhillips’ website, Alpine does not have a permanent road connecting it to other infrastructure on the North Slope. An ice road is built in the winter that connects Kuparuk to Alpine.
The Alpine Central Facilities is continuing its essential operations, and gas is continuing to flow to Nuiqsut, Boys said.
According to a subsequent email from Boys, ConocoPhillips Alaska evacuated all non-essential personnel from the drill site and the Alpine Central Facility on Monday “out of an abundance of caution.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.
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