Pipeline breach causes spill at BP's Alaska Lisburne field

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2011 2:58 AM
Pipeline breach causes spill at BP's Alaska Lisburne field

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A breached pipeline at one of BP's Alaska oilfields spilled a mixture of methanol and oily produced water, Alaska environmental officials said Sunday.

The affected pipeline, which runs underground, failed during a pressure test that was conducted while the BP-operated Lisburne field was shut in for summer maintenance, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said.

Lisburne, managed as part of the Greater Prudhoe Bay Unit, has daily production that usually averages about 30,000 to 32,000 barrels, according to Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission records. But the field has produced no oil since June 18, according to AOGCC records, suggesting maintenance work requiring a prolonged shutdown.

(Reporting by Yereth Rosen; editing by James Jukwey)