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September 2006

 

Prudhoe Bay oil field shut down

BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. has begun a phased shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field following the discovery of severe corrosion and a spill from a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line. Over time, these actions will reduce Alaska North Slope oil production by an estimated 400,000 barrels per day, or approximately 8% of the United States oil production.

The decision followed the receipt of data in late July. Analysis revealed 16 anomalies in 12 locations in an oil transit line on the eastern side of the oil field.

BP conducted inspections of the corroded wall-thinning which appeared to exceed criteria for continued operation. A leak and small spill estimated at four to five barrels was discovered.

BP is identifying and mobilizing additional resources from across Alaska and North America in order to speed inspection of remaining Prudhoe Bay oil transit lines. BP operates 22 miles of oil transit pipeline at Prudhoe Bay. Smart pigging inspection has been completed over about 40 percent of that length.

BP previously announced plans to replace a three-mile segment of pipeline following inspections conducted after a large spill discovered on March 2, 2006.


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