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.
A natural gas pipeline in Alaska has been leaking methane into the atmosphere since at least early February. Dr. Katey Walter Anthony helps to put the size of that leak into perspective.
After investigating the incident, AOGCC took the highly unusual step of shutting down all four of Hilcorp’s rigs operating on existing wells in the state for nearly a month.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation says the company needs to be prepared to “evacuate the line,” which could include shutting down wells, by March 13th, depending on monitoring results.
Hilcorp recently informed state regulators that the company is unlikely to begin repairs on a gas leak in Cook Inlet until mid- to late March, according to a letter obtained by Alaska’s Energy Desk through a public records request.
The leaking gas pipeline in Cook Inlet is drawing concern from environmental groups and state and federal agencies. Cook Inletkeeper told Hilcorp CEO Jeffrey Hildebrand it intends to sue the company in 60 days, claiming Hilcorp is violating of the Federal Clean Water Act.
A local environmental group is calling on regulators to shut down a leaking gas line in Cook Inlet until it is repaired.
So far, state regulators say there isn’t evidence that the nearby Drift River was contaminated, or that any wildlife was affected by the Hilcorp-owned facility’s spills.
According to the EPA, the Clean Water Act violations by both companies affected arctic wetlands that support wildlife like caribou, ptarmigan and geese.
More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.