(Adds state official comments)
By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 1 (Reuters) - BP shut a 77,000 barrel per day (bpd)oil gathering center at a key Prudhoe Bay oil field due to a fire on Wednesday, but has begun restoring output, state officials said on Thursday.
BP Exploration Alaska Inc had a “small fire” at Gathering Center 2 (GC-2), a facility that separates oil from natural gas and water, said Cathy Foerster, a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
“They shut in the entire gathering center,” Foerster said, adding there were no injuries or explosions in the fire.
”They got the fire under control,“ she said. ”I‘m sure they’re doing an investigation.
A BP spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Normal flow through the gathering center is 77,000 bpd. The shutdown appears to have caused the state’s output to decline by 55,000 bpd to 564,699 bpd on Wednesday, she said.
Kyle Smith, a policy and legislative adviser at the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas said production is not yet back to normal.
“They’re bringing the equipment and the plant and the wells back on slowly,” he said.
Smith added that BP has told state officials it hopes to be back up to normal levels at GC-2 by Friday or Saturday. (Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Carol Bishopric)