BP's leaking Alaska well stops spraying crude oil, still emitting gas

The Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas
Lisa Combs  Flickr Vision

The Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas Lisa Combs Flickr Vision

The volume of the leak hasn't been determined and the cause of the release is unknown, the department said. Because there is no pipeline for natural gas from Prudhoe Bay, companies pump oil and inject gas back into the wells.

"Crews are on the scene and are developing plans to bring the well under control, " said Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman, "and safety will remain our top priority as we move through this process". A second leak had been reduced but was still emitting gas, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation or ADEC said in a statement.

BP Plc is working to secure an ongoing natural gas leak in a well on Alaska's North Slope that also sprayed crude oil for three days before that release was capped.

The well is too risky at this time for a response team made up of state and federal energy officials and BP employees to get near the well.

Fossil fuel companies have long eyed portions of Alaska's North Slope now off-limits to oil and gas production, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 200 species of migratory birds and the last onshore area for polar bear dens. But its infamous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused the world's attention on the environmental and economic importance of the Gulf of Mexico. Output there rose to 565,000 bpd in March, its highest level since December 2013.

Employees on Friday morning discovered leaks at the oil and gas well in the Alaskan Arctic about five miles from the remote town of Deadhorse.

Neither injuries nor impacts to the wildlife have been reported.

On Friday, an oil spill occurred at a well on the frozen tundra of Alaska's North Slope near Prudhoe Bay, The Wall Street Journal.

The site was also venting natural gas from two locations: a leak near the top of the well, and another lower down.