Corrosion blamed for Kuparuk spill

In the news

Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2005

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Pipeline corrosion was the cause of an oily water spill in the Kuparuk oil field, officials said.

The spill, discovered March 26, released an estimated 111,300 gallons of salty and oily water, ranking it as the third largest industrial spill ever recorded in the North Slope oil fields.

The spill was traced to corrosion in a six-inch pipeline that was carrying water to a drill site on the western side of Kuparuk, according to officials with ConocoPhillips and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Corrosion has been the cause of many North Slope spills.

Damage from the Kuparuk Spill could be minimal because the ground is still frozen, reducing seepage into the tundra, officials said.

Conoco is majority owner of Kuparuk, with BP holding a large minority interest. The other owners are Unocal, ExxonMobil and Chevron Texaco.

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