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Repsol Q2 Pad Gas and Mud Release SITREP # 2


Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program

Repsol Q2 Pad Gas and Mud Release


SPILL NUMBER: 12399904601

TIME/DATE OF SPILL: Repsol reported the incident to ADEC at 10:29 AM on February 15, 2012.

TIME/DATE OF SITUATION REPORT: 7:30 PM on February 15, 2012

TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: Repsol estimates that approximately 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) [update from Sitrep 1] of fresh-water-based drilling mud have been released to the gravel pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. An unknown amount of gas has been released.

INCIDENT LOCATION: Qugruk #2 Pad, on the Colville River Delta, approximately 18 miles northeast of Nuiqsut, Alaska (70.2719° N, 150.4451° W)

CAUSE OF SPILL: Repsol contractor Nabors Drilling was drilling an exploratory well when the drill penetrated a shallow gas pocket at a depth of 2,600 feet, resulting in a gas kick. The gas kick drove drilling mud used to lubricate and cool the drill out of the hole, onto the gravel pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. Additional mud was pumped into the borehole in an attempt to kill the well, but that mud was also blown out.


RESPONSE ACTION: All personnel evacuated from the pad due to safety concerns with the methane gas. A Unified Command incorporating Repsol, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and ADEC, has assembled in Anchorage to manage the incident. The O’Briens Group is representing Repsol on the incident management team. Repsol has hired Wild Well Control Inc. of Houston, Texas, to assist with controlling the well, and their crew is expected to arrive on-site by 7:00 AM tomorrow. Repsol is coordinating well control efforts with the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Four ADEC responders are en route to the site to evaluate the incident and response.
At 5:30 PM today, Repsol reported that the flow of gas from the well appeared to have nearly stopped, and gas levels near the pad were falling to safe levels.

SOURCE CONTROL: The methane gas is running though the drilling rig’s gas diverter, which directs gas away from the rig. Drilling mud is no longer flowing from the well. The well is currently not under control.

RESOURCES AFFECTED: Snow-covered tundra and gravel pad.

FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Specific tactics to control the well will be developed once the Wild Well Control crew is on-site and has assessed the situation. Once the well is under control, Alaska Clean Seas, a North Slope spill response co-op, will begin to clean up the drilling mud.

Incident Commander: Jeremy Michaels, O’Briens Group
F.O.S.C.: Matt Carr, EPA
S.O.S.C.: Tom DeRuyter, ADEC
Field SOSC: Wes Ghormley, ADEC

WEATHER: Today: Mostly cloudy with areas of low fog, some isolated snow flurries, temperatures to -14°F, east winds around 10 mph.

TIME/DATE OF THE NEXT REPORT: 12:00 PM on February 16, 2012

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Wes Ghormley, ADEC (907) 451-2164 or (907) 322-0569
Ty Keltner, PIO, ADEC (907) 465-5009

Photographs and other spill information will be available for viewing at: http://www.state.ak.us/dec/spar/perp/index.htm

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