Tags: US | Alaska | BP | Project

BP Suspends Construction of Rig off Alaska Coast

Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010 01:37 PM


JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — BP PLC is suspending construction of a huge oil rig off Alaska's coast to review its engineering and design plans and ensure the Liberty project can be done safely.

BP Alaska spokesman Steve Rinehart said "a few issues" were encountered over the last year in working to assemble the rig. He wouldn't define those. But he said no one issue caused BP to pull back and none of them has caused the company to second-guess whether the unusual project is doable.

He said the decision — announced to contractors this week — was arrived at over time "with a lot of deliberation," and is aimed at ensuring the rig meets company standards.

"The approach has to be right," Rinehart said Tuesday. "Liberty is a very important project to BP. It's very important to the state and to the U.S. And it has to be done safely and carefully. And that foundation has to be solid, and everybody has to be confident in that and we can go from there."

"We always understood this would be difficult," he said, adding later that BP remains firmly committed to the project.

No timeline was given for construction to resume. The delay is expected to affect about 100 jobs, generally belonging to contract employees.

The Liberty project is unique, and controversial. It calls for using a manmade gravel island in the Beaufort Sea as a drilling base, with a rig drilling horizontally for six to eight miles to tap what BP estimates is a 100-million-barrel reserve of recoverable oil. Some critics have questioned the approach following the massive oil spill stemming from a BP-leased rig in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.

Following the spill, federal regulators pledged to look for such things as oil spill response and blowout prevention plans when reviewing drilling permit applications; the state also planned to review whether there were gaps in any of its regulations.

Rinehart said the review of the work on Liberty would include lessons learned from the gulf spill though he couldn't immediately identify which might be applicable to the very different project in Alaska.

He said the review would cover "all the safety-critical systems," including power supply and ventilation systems.

BP has not yet applied for a drilling permit for the project. And this isn't the first delay in plans for moving forward. At one point, BP hoped to have begun drilling this year and to have started producing oil in 2011.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Army Officer: Bergdahl Charged With Desertion, WH Wants It Kept Quiet

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 23:06 PM

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion, but the White House is trying to keep the story under wraps, a  . . .

Indiana Gov. Pence to Launch News Website

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 23:03 PM

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, is poised to launch a state-run news website that he says will break news stories . . .

Snowstorm Threatens to Paralyze Northeast for Days

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 18:12 PM

Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearso . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved