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

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

Hilcorp reports leak in Cook Inlet

A helicopter pilot identified bubbles surfacing during a supply delivery on Thursday.

Oil and gas company Hilcorp reported a natural gas leak in the Cook Inlet after a helicopter pilot identified bubbles surfacing during a supply delivery on Thursday, April 1, according to the Alaska Department of Environment Conservation (ADEC).

The location of the leak is between Platform A and Nikiski. The total amount of natural gas in the inlet is still unknown. The pipeline sits 80 feet underwater, ADEC reported.

In 2017 a leak occurred from the same pipe, according to the ADEC. The department reported that Hilcorp officials are still unsure of what caused the April 1 leak, but an investigation is underway.

“Upon discovery, Hilcorp notified all appropriate federal and state agencies and immediately began shutting in the impacted facilities,” the energy company said in a statement Tuesday. “No sheen has been observed. An assessment of the source of the leak is ongoing. No personnel or wildlife have been impacted. We are monitoring ice conditions and will perform side scan sonar to gather further data on the repair location. Divers will be deployed mid-week to install a temporary clamp.”

Hilcorp also began reducing pressure on the pipeline after reporting the leak and will continue to monitor the pipe and wildlife on the coast, according to the ADEC.

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

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