BP to face Alaskan leak probe

20-07-2006

BP to face Alaskan leak probe
BP is facing a fresh investigation into its US operations this morning after reports of a number of leaks at one of its Alaskan fields.

Some of the oil giant's employees told the Financial Times that 50 wells had leaked oil and insulating fluids.

The news prompted BP to shut down 12 operational wells while it investigates the matter further.

Whatever the outcome, the Alaskan authorities are likely to want to carry out their own investigation to ascertain whether or not there has been any damage to the local environment.

"Out of about 2,200 wells in Alaska we've identified 57 wells with leaks,' a BP spokesman told the Bloomberg news agency. "We've taken action out of an abundance of caution.'

The closures will cut 8,000 barrels a day from BP's production capacity, which accounts for around 2.5 per cent of its total Alaskan output.

BP is already under investigation following an incident in March at another Alaskan field, Prudhoe Bay, which was the largest ever leak in the North Slope region.

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