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BP finally caps leaking oil well on Alaska's North Slope


"BP is in the process of shutting in a well at the Prudhoe Bay oil field that experienced an unplanned release of hydrocarbon", said Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman in Houston.

BP PLC and local and federal authorities successfully brought under control an onshore well on the North Slope of Alaska that began leaking oil and gas last week, the company said Monday morning. The U.K. company didn't say how much oil or natural gas may have spilled.

Officials believe the spill was contained to a well pad and did not reach the nearby tundra. This was found by the statement of the Environmental Conservation Department of the state.

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ADEC says the time of the spill is unknown but it was reported Friday morning. "However it is not now spraying crude oil".

Media covering the accident recall that this is not the first spill for BP's Alaskan operations, which account for over half of the state's oil and gas output. But its infamous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused the world's attention on the environmental and economic importance of the Gulf of Mexico. The production of the North Slope rose to about 565,000 Barrels per day in the month of March, which was the highest since the year 2013's month of December.

While it's not uncommon for natural gas to escape from North Slope wells, an emergency of Friday's magnitude is rare, said Lois Epstein, Arctic Program Director for The Wilderness Society, an environmental group in Anchorage.

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BP Exploration Alaska Inc. operates a well in the frigid North Slope of Alaska.

The site was also venting natural gas from two locations: a leak near the top of the well, and another lower down.

The agency says the initial oil release may have affected an area of about one hectare and there were no reports of damage to wildlife.

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