Hilcorp said the leak was first reported Thursday evening by a company helicopter pilot who spotted bubbles on the water’s surface.
A federal permit allowing Hilcorp to drill in Cook Inlet does not account for the harm vessel noise could pose to endangered belugas there, according to a decision yesterday from a District Court judge.
As early as Thursday, Hilcorp could start construction on a gravel exploration pad for the company’s Whiskey Gulch prospect.
Hilcorp purchased several blocks of federal leases in Cook Inlet in 2017, but before it can even think about exploring for oil and gas there, the company has to survey for potential geological hazards in the area.
Hilcorp has requested approval from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to build an oil-gas combination well and gas-only well in Whiskey Gulch near Anchor Point.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is planning to solicit bids on over 1 million acres in the inlet’s federal waters, which includes anything more than three miles offshore.
Marathon Petroleum got the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that’s tasked with reviewing natural gas project proposals, though it wasn’t a unanimous decision.
The state says nearly 8,000 gallons of “slop oil” leaked out of an underground line at Hilcorp’s onshore Trading Bay production facility.
Oil company Hilcorp has received the last regulatory approval in its deal to buy the Alaska assets once owned by BP.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with environmental groups, saying the agency’s review of drilling impacts was inadequate.