Nearly 8,000 gallons of ‘slop oil’ spilled at onshore Hilcorp facility near Cook Inlet

Hilcorp’s Anna Platform in Upper Cook Inlet. The state says nearly 8,000 gallons of oil leaked out of an underground line at Hilcorp’s onshore Trading Bay facility near Cook Inlet. (Photo courtesy Cook Inletkeeper)

Oil and gas company Hilcorp is cleaning up an oil spill on the western side of the Cook Inlet, about 20 miles northwest of Kenai.

That’s according to a report Wednesday from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The state says nearly 8,000 gallons of “slop oil” leaked out of an underground line at Hilcorp’s onshore Trading Bay production facility.

The slop oil is about 80% crude and 20% water. It’s considered waste and can’t be sold down the pipeline, said the state’s report.

The oil mix pooled in the soil and on top of it but did not go into the Cook Inlet waters, according to Crystal Smith, central region manager for the environmental conservation department.

An operator first noticed the leak Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement Wednesday, Hilcorp spokesman Luke Miller said the underground line was “immediately isolated” and the spilled oil remained within a tank containment wall.

Nine Hilcorp employees on site recovered about 630 gallons of the spilled oil Tuesday, according to the state’s report. More workers were headed to the area to help with cleanup. Also, Hilcorp said, environmental specialists were traveling to the scene.

The state says it has received no reports of impacts to wildlife so far.

The cause of the leak remains under investigation.

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