• Wed. May 18th, 2022

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Alaska North Slope natural gas leak is under investigation

Authorities are investigating a natural gas leak at a ConocoPhillips Alaska oil drill site on Alaska’s North Slope

JUNEAU, Alaska — Authorities are investigating a natural gas leak detected last week at a ConocoPhillips Alaska oil drill site on Alaska’s North Slope, officials said.

Grace Salazar, a special assistant with the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said Wednesday that the commission that oversees oil and gas drilling in the state is investigating the matter.

The leak was detected early last Friday, according to a statement from ConocoPhillips, which said that “out of an abundance of caution” Monday it took steps to relocate non-essential personnel from the area because of what it described as a subsurface gas release at the drill site.

A natural gas leak falls under the regulatory authority of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said Laura Achee, a spokesperson with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. She said the Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the situation.

ConocoPhillips’ Colville River Unit is commonly referred to as Alpine. It is located 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of the Inupiat community of Nuiqsut, according to the company. Officials with the city didn’t immediately return a message to The Associated Press.