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Situation Report 3 - Milne Point Tract 14 Production Line Release



Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program


Milne Point Tract 14 Production Line Release


SPILL #: 15399905901

TIME/DATE OF DISTRIBUTION: 2:00 p.m. March 3, 2015


INCIDENT LOCATION: Milne Point Tract 14 Production Line (approximately 25 miles northwest of Deadhorse and 40 miles northeast of Nuiqsut).

TIME/DATE OF SPILL: 7:50 a.m. on February 28, 2015

HOW/WHEN SPILL WAS DISCOVERED AND REPORTED: A release from a 10-inch production line was observed at 7:50 a.m. on February 28, 2015. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s (ADEC’s) After Hours Call service was notified at approximately 9:00 a.m. on the same day. ADEC responders were then contacted within 15 minutes.

TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: An unknown amount of produced fluids including crude oil and produced water were released to the pad and tundra.

CAUSE OF SPILL: The cause of the production line rupture is under investigation, but crude escaped from an estimated 1/4-inch diameter hole in the 10-inch production line.

SOURCE CONTROL: Tract 14 wells were shut in. Production flow was stopped, and the 15-foot segment of pipe in which the hole is located was isolated by shutting valves on either side of the hole. Pressure inside the segment is zero. A wooden plug was inserted in the hole and that portion of the production line was wrapped to prevent further release. Containment supplies were placed under the release point to reduce further environmental impact. Remaining product in affected pipe segment has been removed.

RESPONSE ACTION: HCA had 15 responders on site for Monday night operations overnight and anticipate 15-20 responders on sitethroughout today’s daylight activities. A post-storm delineation of the impacted area has been completed with no significant change in the original delineated area. Crews were able to install a bypass line to re-establish normal levels of flow from Tract 14 wells. This eliminates the risk of freeze up within the pipeline and further protects the envinroment from additional spills.. Responders are using mechanical equipment and hand tools to clear snow and ice. The ice cap that was created to protect the site from the weekend storm event proved to be effective. An ice pit has been constrcuted on site to stage affected snow and ice from the the impacted area. . A 70-foot by 70-foot ice pad has also been constructed adjacent to the impacted area to provide access to the affected tundra areas. This will facilitate access to and the removal of product from tundra. All collected materials will be removed from the ice pit, hauled away by dump truck, and disposed of in accordance with the law. An estimated 3,906 gallons (93 bbls) of liquids have been recovered by vacuum truck to date. Approximately 96 cubic yards of impacted snow have been removed and staged in containers for final removal and disposal. The spilled product volume estimates include impacted snow, ice, and released product from the pipeline. Due to this mixture, an actual volume estimate of fluids released from the pipeline remains unknown at this time. A Unified Command including representatives from HCA, ADEC, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Slope Borough (NSB) will stand down as of 6 PM tonight. Operations will continue as this event enters the project phase. ADEC has mobilized three responders to the site to monitor clean-up operations.

RECOURSES AT RISK OR AFFECTED: Preliminary delineation activities have reported that approximately 38,800 square feet of gravel pad and tundra have been heavily to lightly misted by fluids. There has been no reports of impacted wildlife. As a precaution, wildlife fencing has been erected to prevent wildlife from entering the impacted area. Wildlife hazing permits and hazing personnel have been activated to further deter and protect wildlife. A survey was conducted to determine any impacts to historic or cultural sites. The survey conlcuded that there were no sites present.

FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The primary focus is to continue implementing the tactics developed to recover the spilled product from the pad and tundra. Tactics for released product removal may include mechanical and hand tool removal, vac truck, tundra washing, and collecting tundra washing water for disposal. The affected 15-foot pipe segment has been deinventoried and the damaged portion of that pipe will be removed for further inspection and analysis. A method to determine the estimated amount of fluids released from the pipeline will be determined by a process agreed to by the Unfied Command. The amount of affected materials recovered including snow, ice, and released fluids will continue to be reported until the amount of only the released fluids can be determined.

WEATHER: Today: cloudy; areas of blowing snow in the morning; highs in the mmmid to upper teens and east winds 15 to 25 mph becoming south 5-15 mph in the afternoon. Tonight: a blizzard warning is in effect from 9 p.m tonight through 6 p.m. Wednesday; snow accumulations of around one inch; areas of blowing snow will reduce visibility to one quarter mile or less at times; lows zero to 10 below; west winds 15 to 25 mph increasing to 25 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

Incident Commander: Gregg Alexander, HCA
State On-Scene Coordinator: Tom DeRuyter, ADEC
Federal On-Scene Coordinator: Matt Carr, EPA
Local On-Scene Coordinator: Waska Williams, North Slope Borough



Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation


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