Feds' worst-case Arctic spill far greater than planning estimate

April 27, 2011 

The federal agency overseeing offshore drilling in Alaska says a worst-case scenario for a blowout in the Chukchi Sea lease area could put more than 58 million gallons of oil into Arctic waters.

That's far more than the major leaseholder in the Chukchi, Shell Oil, says it could handle under its response plan.

A memo prepared by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement says a blowout worst-case scenario could discharge nearly 2.6 million gallons per day initially.

The agency says discharge from the hypothetical blowout would decline rapidly but could leak more than 58 million gallons in a month.

A Shell spokesman says he hasn't seen the report but the company would not encounter wells of that flow rate for many years into the project.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service