The last time the pipe leaked, in 2017, Hilcorp didn’t complete repairs for three months, citing danger from ice in the inlet.
Hilcorp said the leak was first reported Thursday evening by a company helicopter pilot who spotted bubbles on the water’s surface.
The emergency order comes after BP blamed an April oil and gas spill on a piece of a flawed well design and thawing permafrost.
Now that the state’s had time to investigate, Geoff Merrell with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said aging equipment probably wasn’t to blame for the gas leak.
The oil and gas company Hilcorp says a dive team managed to install a clamp on its pipeline late Thursday night, after a week of work and 12 dives.
The company also now says it believes an oil sheen spotted near one of its platforms did not come from a pipeline leak, as originally thought.
The state doesn’t have its own estimate for how much oil was released into Cook Inlet or knowledge of what caused the leak. It’s latest in a string of incidents for Hilcorp, facing a wave of scrutiny from regulators and environmental groups.
Regulators say an oil leak could cause much more environmental damage than the current natural gas leak. Both pipelines run through key habitat for endangered beluga whales.
State regulators have given preliminary approval to Hilcorp’s plan to monitor the environmental impacts of the gas leak in Cook Inlet.
An ongoing natural gas leak in Cook Inlet is sparking a debate over pipeline safety. Hilcorp says it can’t shut off the flow of gas through the pipeline without risking an oil spill, but a number of environmental groups disagree.