BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its Lisburne field, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.
The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines — accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based.
That "history" includes the infamous 2006 Prudhoe Bay incident when 267,000 gallons (~6400 barrels) of oil and chemical leaked from unmonitored, corroded pipeline (pictured above). The EPA reported:
From 1993 to 1995, Doyon Drilling employees illegally discharged waste oil and hazardous substances by injecting them down the outer rim, or annuli, of the oil wells. BPXA failed to report the illegal injections as soon as it learned of the conduct, in violation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The illegally injected wastes included paint thinner and toxic solvents containing lead and chemicals such as benzene, toluene and methylene chloride.
According to data compiled from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation spill database,1.3 million gallons of toxic substances were spilled between 1996 and 2000.
The November 29, 2010 Prudhoe Bay spill in which 46,000 gallons leaked.
BP has an equally disturbing track record in the Gulf of Mexico:
An Associated Press investigation in 2010 revealed 27,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf, many of which are poorly sealed.