Months after leak, Hilcorp makes permanent repairs to Cook Inlet pipeline

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 03:27:14 PM. Repair divers for Hilcorp Alaska on Friday installed a permanent repair clamp over its damaged natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet.
A Cook Inlet natural gas pipeline that leaked for much of the winter, sparking concerns about the environment and wildlife, has been permanently repaired by undersea divers for Hilcorp Alaska, the state reported Monday. Repair divers installed a temporary repair clamp that stopped the leak on April 13. On Friday they installed a permanent repair clamp over the gash on the pipeline, located northwest of Nikiski. "Divers returned to the site on (Saturday) and detected no bubbles or leaks," the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday in its sixth — and final — situation report on the incident. The leak from the undersea 8-inch pipeline — which delivered fuel gas to offshore platforms — began in late December. It wasn't detected until Feb. 7, when a helicopter crew saw surface water churning. Sea ice prevented inspections by repair divers until early April. Hilcorp blamed the leak on pipe abrasion against a seafloor boulder. That problem, aided by the Inlet's notoriously strong tides, has caused other leaks, including two in 2014 on the same pipeline that sprung a leak this winter. The gas leak and other setbacks experienced by Hilcorp in Cook Inlet this winter led to increased scrutiny from regulators, as well as demands for better oversight and maintenance of the half-century-old facilities the company acquired from other operators in recent years. Hilcorp, Cook Inlet's top oil and gas producer, has said it is stepping up inspection efforts with high-tech...Read more
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