Across the frozen North Slope of Alaska, the region’s largest oil accident on record has been sending hundreds of thousands of litres of crude pouring into the Arctic Ocean during the past week after a badly corroded BPO pipeline ruptured. The publicity caused by the leak in the the 30-year-old pipeline could seriously damage BP’s image, which has been carefully crafted to show it as a company concerned about the environment. Unlike other major oil companies, BP boasts that it is fully signed up to the dangers of global warming and it makes a conspicuous effort to flaunt its green credentials, tackling local environmental problems and erecting wind turbines above its petrol stations. The first indication of the spill came in early March, when an oily patch was discovered near the elevated oil transmission pipeline, but the full scale of the accident is only becoming clear with time. Environmentalists who vociferously objected to the construction of the BP pipeline may now see their worst fears realised. Clean-up crews have removed more than 190,000 litres of crude oil and melted snow off the frozen tundra but reports indicate that the leak is the second largest crude oil spill […]

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