BP Says Half of Alaska Oilfield Production Restored

BP PLC (BP) on Friday said it had restored half of the production from Prudhoe Bay, nearly two weeks after threatening to shut the entire field down because of leaks from corroded pipelines.

"The western operating area has now been restored to production of over 200,000 barrels per day," BP Alaska President Steve Marshall told a joint Alaska Senate and House Resources Committee conducting a hearing on the shutdown.

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The discovery of leaks and corroded pipe prompted the company to begin shutting down the nation's largest oil field on Aug. 6. That threatened to take 400,000 barrels — about half the current output by all fields in the Alaskan North Slope and 8 percent of domestic production — out of production.

But testing of pipelines on the western side of Prudhoe Bay prompted the British operator to keep that side open. It had been producing about 150,000 barrels until Marshall's announcement.

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