ConocoPhillips is still trying to locate the exact source of a natural Gas Leak at its Alpine oil development on Alaska’s North Slope, ten days after it was found. It says it’s warming up a drilling rig that it could use to pinpoint it. Officials from the firm, as well as leaders from the North Slope Borough and the nearby Native village corporation, have continued to convince people of Nuiqsut, some 8 miles distant, that the leak at Alpine poses no concern to public safety.
Conoco also claims that the continuous Gas Leak has decreased to “below detectable levels” at the CD-1 pad, where it was first found. In a phone conversation Monday, the village’s mayor expressed her dissatisfaction with the corporation, which halted daily calls with her this week and stopped taking live questions during its resident briefings, instead directing them to a new company-sponsored website and hotline.
“The firm stopped communicating directly with the community,” said Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, the mayor, who has also opposed Conoco’s proposals in court. “We don’t know how to ask inquiries.” Rebecca Boys, a spokeswoman for the corporation, said the company takes residents’ concerns “extremely seriously” and is committed to delivering periodic updates to both the mayor of Nuiqsut and the community when new information becomes available.
Conoco employees visited to Nuiqsut early last week, according to Boys, to ensure that people’s questions were resolved. The company’s village liaison is also giving tours of the community’s air monitoring station. Outside of the CD-1 pad, where oil production has since been shut down, Conoco, which owns and runs Alpine, says it has not identified any natural gas.