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Hilcorp Shuts Down Two Offshore Production Platforms

Two offshore production platforms shut down in Cook Inlet by Hilcorp Alaska. This was after a helicopter pilot spotted bubbling water on the surface last week. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation report, a natural gas leak was found from a line that provides fuel for the platforms’ operations. On Saturday, Hilcorp stopped the leak by activating block valves.

The pilot discovered the leak on Thursday at about 4:30 P.M. The leak was reported to the federal National Response Center and the state agency about an hour after the pilot found the bubbles. After this, the company started immediately shut down the impacted facilities at Platform A, and C. Hilcorp Spokesperson Luke Miller said, “No sheen has been observed. An assessment of the source of the leak is ongoing. No personnel or wildlife have been impacted.”

The size and cause of this leak are unknown. An investigation is in progress, and the agency is monitoring the response plans. The gas escaping from the platforms is not produced from natural gas. The product gas is used to heat and power homes across most of Southcentral Alaska. Miller said, “Divers will be deployed midweek to install a temporary clamp.”

The DEC said that Natural gas is considered hazardous. The endangered beluga whales are part of the animals at risk that occupies the inlet. The leaking line was installed in the mid-1960s. It originally carried crude oil before it was converted to ship natural gas as fuel. Hilcorp blamed the 2017 leak on abrasion from an underwater boulder.

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