Crews Plug Blown Out Repsol Well

The North Slope well that suffered a blow out last month has been plugged. Crews pumped cement into the well Sunday to seal it off. Repsol, the Spanish Company that owns the well, decided it was easier to abandon the well than get it working again. Jim Regg is a petroleum engineer with the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He says cold weather hampered the well control operation.

The blow out happened on Feb. 15. Gas stopped flowing a day later but extreme cold slowed the well control operation. Crews started working today to clean up the drilling mud that ended up coating the snow covered area surrounding the rig. The Department of Environmental Conservation doesn’t know how long that phase of the operation will take. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is investigating the well blow out.

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Annie Feidt is the Managing Editor for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO Public Media in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49th state just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie