Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Drill Site 6, Well 11, Mixed Product Spill



Incident Description

Incident Location Map

Location Drill Site 6, Well 11, Prudhoe Bay, North Slope, Alaska.
Product/Quantity The spill resulted from a 6-inch three-phase well line carrying a mixture of crude oil, produced water, and natural gas. The spill volume was estimated to be 500-700 gallons.
Cause The cause of the spill is separation of the well’s 6-inch three-phase flow line. The separation occurred when operators over-pressured the line in an attempted to restore flow to the frozen well using a backflow system of artificial gas lift.
Time/Date of Incident The spill was discovered at approximately 10:30 AM on December 21, 2009 by a BPXA operator who witnessed an anomaly on the drill site’s surveillance system and proceeded to investigate the source. BPXA notified ADEC at approximately 11:17 AM on December 21, 2009.
Situation Reports
12/21/2009 (PDF 33K)

12/22/2009 (PDF 513K)

12/23/2009 (PDF 396K)

12/24/2009 (PDF1.48MB)

12/29/2009 (PDF 36K)

10/08/2010 (PDF 34K)

 

 

Photos
 
12/21/2009. Damaged well house and 6” lateral pipeline that separated from well #11 releasing an unknown amount of misted crude oil to the gravel pad and adjacent tundra. The area is being delineated, a volume estimation process and work plan has been submitted to ADEC for approval and spill response crews are being mobilized to recover the oil. 12/21/2009. Pipeline separation area showing the force of the release and damaged well house. The gravel pad, snow and ice are covered with crude oil. 12/21/2009. View from inside the well house showing the force of the release that demolished the back of the well house. Note the heavily oiled well house floor.  
12/22/2009. Close up photo of the flange and pipeline where the break occurred. The cause of the break is under investigation. 12/22/2009. Flange piece of pipeline where the break occurred. The cause of the release is under investigation by BP and ADEC.  
12/21/2009. Close up of the failed 6 inch lateral pipeline. The cause of the pipeline failure is under investigation. 12/22/2009. Close up photo of the flange and pipeline where the break occurred. The cause of the break is under investigation. 12/22/2009. Flange piece of pipeline where the break occurred. The cause of the release is under investigation by BP and ADEC.  
12/24/2009. Area of heaviest contamination was directly behind the well house. 12/24/2009. Heavy oil and fluids on pipeline and reserve pit behind Well 11. 12/24/2009. Oil on the reserve pit behind Well House 11. BP surveyors estimated the contamination around the reserve pit at ~48,000 square feet.  
12/24/2009. Area of heaviest contamination was directly behind the well house 12/24/2009. Heavy oil and fluids on pipeline and reserve pit behind Well 11. 12/24/2009. Oil on the reserve pit behind Well House 11. BP surveyors estimated the contamination around the reserve pit at ~48,000 square feet.  
. 12/24/2009. Oil and fluids froze to Well House 11. 12/23/2009. Photo of release point, Well house 11 with contamination on snow.  
12/24/2009. Oil and fluids frozen to Well House 11. 12/23/2009. Photo of release point, Well house 11 with contamination on snow. 12/21/2009. The front doors of the well house were blown open during the release. Preliminary estimations are that ~12000 square feet of the gravel pad been impacted by heavy/moderate/and light misting of crude oil. The oil mist has reached the snow covered tundra and spill technicians are in the process of delineating the size of the impact. The square footage of tundra that was impacted by oil misting is unknown at this time but should be available tomorrow.  

 

For more information

Paul Lhotka, ADEC, (907) 451-2175