ConocoPhillips says it’s still trying to find the source of North Slope gas leak

Alpine
ConocoPhillips’ Alpine facility on the North Slope. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/AED)

Officials with ConocoPhillips are still trying to determine the source of an ongoing natural gas leak reported at a North Slope oil drill site earlier this month.

The company says a subsurface gas leak was first observed at the Alpine site early in the morning on Friday, March 4. By March 7, the company relocated 300 of the site’s roughly 400 workers. The site is currently not producing oil.

ConocoPhillips External Affairs Vice President Ben Stevens says there have so far been zero injuries or impacts to the local tundra and wildlife from the leak.

“We continue to assess the cause of the release, and we will continue to keep regulatory agencies informed of our progress,” Stevens said

Stevens spoke during a short community update for the village Nuiqsut Monday afternoon, where he did not take any questions.

The Iñupiaq community is roughly eight miles south of the Alpine CD1 site where the leak occurred. Officials with the city did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Stevens says no gas has been detected outside of the site area. He says while the amount of gas released is not known at this time, the rate of release has been reduced.

“Our mitigation effort to reduce the gas release volumes to very small amounts has been successful, as evaluated by aircraft and UAV floor assessment of the surface gas monitoring,” Stevens said.

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is currently investigating the leak. Officials with the commission say they won’t comment on the leak during their investigation.

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