Recent Alaska oil spill among worst ever

Dec 9, 2009

Comprehensive Alaska Oil Spill Information from The Wilderness Society

ANCHORAGE - Experts are calling the recent oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope one of the worst ever. An estimated 46,000 gallons of oil spilled when a pipeline on a BP-operated line split. Despite oil and gas industry claims to the contrary, spills occur frequently in Alaska and often are undetected or ignored.

A new Wilderness Society report, Broken Promises, includes comprehensive information about oil spills in Alaska, and information about the reality of oil development in America’s Arctic. By visiting the link, you’ll see fact sheets for each of the ten “broken promises” outlined in the report.

“The oil and gas industry continues to say that spills are rare and can be controlled through safeguards, but their track record reveals a far different reality,” said Nicole Whittington-Evans, acting regional director of The Wilderness Society’s Alaska office. “Spills occur frequently in Alaska and America’s Arctic is one of the riskiest areas on the planet to drill. The realities of oil development in America’s Arctic are impossible to ignore.”

Chapter on spills from The Wilderness Society report, Broken Promises:

The pervasiveness of North Slope oil spills
Each year, an average of 450 oil and other toxic spills occur on Alaska’s North Slope as a result of oil and gas activity. More than 45 different toxic substances, including acids classified as extremely hazardous substances, have been spilled during routine operations. Between 1996 and 2008, 5,895 spills occurred totaling more than 2.7 million gallons of toxic substances, more than 396,000 gallons of crude oil, 122,000 gallons of drilling muds, and more than 1 million gallons of process water.