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Leak in Hilcorp underground line leads to near 8,000 gallon oil spill northwest of Kenai

 (KTUU)
(KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 10:11 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A leak from an underground line at a Hilcorp Alaska, LLC location 20 miles from Kenai near Cook Inlet has resulted in a 7,980-gallon oil spill, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said in a situation report Wednesday.

The spill was discovered on Tuesday afternoon in a slop oil processing system that carried 80% crude oil and 20% water, the report said.

The department is not reporting any impacts to wildlife as of Wednesday but said the Hilcorp facility with the oil spill is close to the Trading Bay State Game Refuge and Redoubt Bay Critical Area Habitat.

The area, managed by the state, is habitat for migratory birds in the spring and summer with many sandpipers, seabirds, eagles and waterfowl found in the territory. The area is also home to moose in the winter.

The report stated the source of the leak has since been secured but Hilcorp and Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response Inc. personnel are at the facility to aid recovery efforts including suctioning out the product. Multiple agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard will coordinate waste disposal at the site.

As of Thursday, an updated situation report says that 714 gallons of the slop oil have been recovered and that recovery efforts are ongoing. Additional response personnel are expected to arrive on Sunday.

The department said the spill was discovered by the operator on duty. The report stated the operator noticed tank levels were not increasing during a transfer of slop oil and saw there was oil around the secondary containment liner.

Nine Hilcorp employees were at the facility and had recovered around 630 gallons of oil by Tuesday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include new information about the oil recovery.

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