REFILE-Pipeline leaks in Alaska’s oldest oil field

(Refiles to fix formatting)

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 21 (BestGrowthStock) – An estimated 630
gallons of oil has leaked from a buried pipeline in Alaska’s
oldest operating oil field, state environmental officials said
Wednesday.

The leak was discovered at the Swanson River oil field in
the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge south of Anchorage, the
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said. The
field, which produces both oil and natural gas, is operated by
Chevron Corp (CVX.N: ).

Chevron has shut in the two wells that feed the affected
pipeline, said Steve Russell, an environmental program
specialist with the DEC.

Chevron could not be immediately reached for comment.

The leaking line, which carries a combination of liquids
from the wells to a tank for later transport to production
facilities, lies under a grassy area, Russell said. So far it
is unknown whether the line is corroded because Chevron has not
been able to dig it up, he said.

Other than soiling the grassy area, there has been little
environmental impact, Russell said.

“There’s been no wildlife impact of any kind at this time
that we’ve determined,” he said.

The Swanson River field was discovered in 1957 by Richfield
Oil Co. of California. The oil find, accomplished on
Richfield’s first well, is credited with helping Alaska achieve
statehood and helping Richfield grow into a major company that
became known as Atlantic Richfield, or ARCO.

After the oil field was developed, the area encompassing it
became designated as the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Oil production at Swanson River was down to about 400
barrels a day in 2009, according to the Alaska Division of Oil
and Gas website.

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(Reporting by Manash Goswami)

REFILE-Pipeline leaks in Alaska’s oldest oil field