The surface of Cook Inlet waters can be seen on Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Alaska. A Hilcorp pilot reported a natural gas leak in the Cook Inlet off the shore of Nikiski, Alaska on Thursday. (Alaska Department of Environment Conservation)

The surface of Cook Inlet waters can be seen on Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Alaska. A Hilcorp pilot reported a natural gas leak in the Cook Inlet off the shore of Nikiski, Alaska on Thursday. (Alaska Department of Environment Conservation)

Hilcorp ordered to replace pipeline that leaked in Cook Inlet

The size of the leak is reported to be between 75,000 and 150,000 cubic feet a day.

Hilcorp Alaska must replace its Cook Inlet pipeline, according to a mandate the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued Tuesday. The company reported a natural gas leak off the coast of Nikiski on April 1.

State and federal agencies are concerned about the leak’s damage to marine life in the Cook Inlet, which is deemed an environmentally sensitive area due to the presence of endangered animals including beluga whales, sea lions, humpback whales, harbor seals, killer whales, sea otters, and porpoises.

The Anchorage Daily News reported the size of the leak to be between 75,000 and 150,000 cubic feet a day, which could fuel close to 400 homes a day during the winter.

The PMSA also stated the life and property risk will likely increase as the ice on the inlet dissipates.

According to the Alaska Department of Environment Conservation, Hilcorp began reducing pressure on the pipeline after the April 1 leak. The PMSA report states it ordered the oil company to replace the pipe within a year after officials continued to report sheen and bubbles on the water’s surface.

The April 1 leak marks the fifth from this pipeline since June 2014, according to the PMSA. Rocks under the surface of the inlet caused four spills, and one in 2019 was caused by corrosion and weld discontinuity.

Upon analyzing risk factors to the pipeline and surrounding environment, the PMSA states the “amended order mandating immediate corrective action is issued expeditiously without prior notice and opportunity for a hearing.”

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@soundpublishing.com.

More in News

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Snow falls atop the Central Peninsula Diabetes Center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. The office opened in October, but a grand opening was held this week. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital adds Diabetes Center

The center has been seeing patients since October and held a grand opening Monday

Gary Hollier pulls a sockeye salmon from a set gillnet at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Findings from pilot setnet fishery study inconclusive

The study sought to see whether shorter nets could selectively catch sockeye salmon while allowing king salmon to pass below

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kenai Peninsula COVID-19 case rate continues to climb

State reports three consecutive week-over-week increases to new high

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday, in Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

The one-term lawmaker said collaboration between stakeholders has helped produce wins for Alaska’s fisheries and the state’s economy

From left: Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, and Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, speak during an at-ease on debate on education legislation on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

The governor’s office announced Dunleavy will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation

Most Read