BP’s press release regarding the shutdown of its Prudhoe Bay operations:
ANCHORAGE — BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. has begun an orderly and phased shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field following the discovery of unexpectedly severe corrosion and a small spill from a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line. Shutting down the field will take days to complete. Over time, these actions will reduce Alaska North Slope oil production by an estimated 400,000 barrels per day.
There is nothing “unexpected” about the corrosion or the spill. In early March, a severly corroded BP pipe leaked 134,000 to 267,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay. It was “considered the largest oil spill ever in the energy-rich North Slope.” Government reports concluded that six other places along the pipeline also had the same corrosion.
Today on Fox News, Neil Cavuto’s guests said that the shutting down of BP’s operations means we should starting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But what this incident really illustrates is the extreme risk of entrusting the Alaskan wilderness to the the oil industry.