The Latest: Oil company closes another Alaska pipeline
The Latest on an underwater crude oil leak in Alaska’s Cook Inlet (all times local):
A petroleum company suspected of crude oil and natural gas leaks in Alaska’s Cook Inlet has a problem at a third petroleum platform.
Hilcorp Alaska LLC says it shut down an underwater natural gas pipeline after observing that the volume of gas shipped from a production platform didn’t match what was received at a processing facility on shore.
The gas pipeline runs out of the Steelhead Platform on Cook Inlet’s west side.
Hilcorp says it flew over the line last weekend but spotted no signs of subsea gas release. The company emptied the line April 1 as a precaution.
A Hilcorp pipeline carrying processed natural gas to provide power at four production platforms has been spewing gas into the inlet since mid-December.
Hilcorp also is investigating oil spilled April 1 near a company platform.
The owner of a pipeline suspected of leaking crude oil into Alaska’s Cook Inlet says the pipeline may not have been the source of the release.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Thursday issued a corrections order to Hilcorp Alaska LLC regarding a suspected leak April 1 in a line between two production platforms.
But Hilcorp spokeswoman Lori Nelson in a statement Friday says the line may not be the source of the leak. She says an in-line inspection in June and recent visual inspections show the line to be in good working condition.
Hilcorp estimates less than three gallons (11 liters) of oil leaked. Nelson says the low volume also indicates the pipeline may not be the source.
She says Hilcorp agrees that the pipeline’s integrity should be confirmed before the platform returns to production.
The federal agency that oversees pipeline safety has ordered inspections and tests for an underwater pipeline that leaked crude oil into Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Thursday issued the corrections order to Hilcorp Alaska LLC.
Cook Inlet is home to endangered beluga whales.
The company’s line between two production platforms leaked briefly April 1. Hilcorp immediately shut down production.
Workers spotted bubbling in the water near a platform leg. Based on the size of oil sheens, Hilcorp estimates the leak at less than three gallons (11 liters) of crude.
The federal agency is calling for a pressure test, a visual inspection and other conditions before the pipeline can be operated again.
A Hilcorp spokeswoman says the company is preparing a comment.