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Water, gas continue flowing from Alaska blowout

Gas flow prevents shutting in Alaska well blowout; enviro groups warn of offshore drilling By The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ' Environmental groups say a blowout at an exploratory well on Alaska's North Slope underscores the threat to the marine environment if the Obama administration gives Arctic offshore drilling the green light.

An estimated 42,000 gallons of drilling fluids shot out of the well Wednesday. Natural gas also escaped, and the crew shut down equipment to prevent gas from igniting.

Water and small amounts of gas continued to flow from the well Thursday.

Pamela Miller of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center says the logistics of controlling similar incidents will be magnified if they occur in the Arctic Ocean, where Shell Oil hopes to drill.

Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh (OP'-de-way) says there's no comparison to the preventative measures Shell has in place for its offshore program.

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