Hilcorp production temporarily shut down after Cook Inlet gas leak
An oil and natural gas production company has temporarily shut down following a gas line leak in Cook Inlet.
In an announcement Saturday morning by Governor Bill walker's office, the decision was made in order to reduce safety risks and environmental impact.
The pipe runs between Nikiski and Platform "A" and may have started leaking in December.
The leak was first reported February 7th.
Hilcorp will reduce the gas line pressure by half, maintaining the minimum pressure needed to prevent water from entering the line.
Governor Walker's office wrote the gas line was formerly an oil pipeline and old crude oil could potentially leak into the inlet if water entered the line.
Platforms being fed by the line will temporarily shut down with the pressure reduction.
"I appreciate that the company officials are implementing a prudent plan of action," Governor Walker said. "Alaskans want peace of mind that our waters are protected."
Hilcorp officials said Friday weather and ice conditions improved enough for them to collect water quality data.
"Hilcorp believes the samples also demonstrate that current water
quality does not pose a threat to wildlife," Hilcorp said. "As an added precaution, certified marine mammal and wildlife observers will continue to monitor the leak site and surrounding areas."
The company said with weather improving, it anticipates repairs to begin within the next two weeks.
Hilcorp has until May 1st to stop the leak.