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16

BP: Small Spillage At Prudhoe Bay Deposit

BP PLC Wednesday informed of a small oil leak occurred while a worker was trying to bring a well back online earlier this week at the nation's largest oil field

BP PLC Wednesday informed of a small oil leak occurred while a worker was trying to bring a well back online earlier this week at the nation's largest oil field.

Company spokesman Steve Rinehart said the leak did not effect overall production and is unrelated to the power outage that temporarily shut down Prudhoe Bay on Friday.

Rinehart said the leak happened late Monday. The well had been shut down since January for routine maintenance, he said.
Even as the spill was deemed minimal, Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Lynda Giguere said an investigation still is under way.

She said there was no immediate word on how much oil was leaked, but it was a matter of gallons rather than barrels. There are 44 gallons in a barrel.

Allison Iversen, coordinator for the state's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office, said the oil leaked for about five minutes.
The entire field temporarily shut down Friday when a vehicle clearing snow drifts damaged the power supply to processing centers.

The vehicle struck a compressed air line at the central power station. That line controls the power station's fuel system. As a result, seven plants shut down.

Rinehart said BP has dealt with some minor maintenance issues while ramping up again. That kept the company from full production, or about 380,000 barrels of oil daily, at Prudhoe Bay.