Drilling fluid released from Hilcorp platform

Two gallons of oil-based drilling fluid spilled into Cook Inlet during a drilling operation aboard Hilcorp’s Steelhead Platform on Monday after a burst hose on the drill rig released two hundred gallons of the fluid into the platform.

The drilling fluid — also known as drilling mud — was 85 percent diesel and mineral oil, according to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation public information officer Candice Bressler. Bressler wrote in an email that DEC has requested a safety data sheet about the fluid, and was unable to say whether its other components are hazardous. 180 gallons of the substance were contained on the rig deck, while 18 gallons ended up in the platform’s drill deck and heliport, Bressler wrote.

Hilcorp was required to report the release to DEC because the substance was oil-based, Bressler wrote, which Hilcorp did after the release occurred on Monday. She wrote that DEC officials spoke with a Hilcorp representative by phone and “determined a site visit and additional cleanup efforts were not needed” and did not issue a public notice of the incident because “there was no threat to public safety.”

Hilcorp spokesperson Lori Nelson wrote that technicians from the non-profit oil spill organization Cook Inlet Spill Response and Prevention, Inc (CISPRI) responded to the incident and that “clean up efforts are completed and all necessary repairs and inspections were done before returning to normal operations.”

The Steelhead platform — located in the offshore Trading Bay oil field, north of west Cook Inlet’s Kustaten Peninsula — is among the fifteen Cook Inlet platforms that Hilcorp owns, and one of the newest, having been built in 1986, according to an information sheet from Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.

More in News

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Kenai Police Department Chief David Ross explains the purpose of a grant to be used for new radios during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Police to update radios using grant money

The department received almost $260,000 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Democratic Party candidate for governor Les Gara attends a Zoom meeting with Homer residents on Nov. 18, 2021, from his Anchorage, Alaska, home. (Screen capture)
Gara makes election pitch to Homer

Democratic Party candidate for governor Gara visits virtually.

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979. The man’s body was discovered on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo/Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in 1980s ID’d through DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID continues decline; 1 new death

The state had an estimated rolling average of 253.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Census reports minimal state population growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

The old Homer intermediate school building, showing the Homer Boys & Girls Club and gym on the south side of the building at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue.
The old Homer intermediate school building on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue, as seen in October 2010. It’s now known as the Homer Educational and Recreational Complex, or HERC. (Homer News file photo)
Homer awards contract to study use of rec complex site

The goal is to help the city understand the maximum use of that property.

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Most Read