Cook Inlet Gas Leak Continues, Lawsuit Looms

Feb 22, 2017

Chunks of ice float in Cook Inlet on Dec. 13, 2016 near Kenai, Alaska.
Credit Rashah McChesney

Hilcorp is continuing to monitor a gas leak in Cook Inlet, but has not yet been able to stop it.

According to a Feb. 21 news release from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the leak is over 98 percent methane.

Hilcorp says they are monitoring the pressure and flow rate on the line. The company reduced the line pressure from 195 psi on Feb. 13 to 165 psi on Feb. 19.

The company estimates somewhere between 210,000 and 310,000 cubic feet of methane is escaping through the leak every day. The exact amount of gas released is currently unknown.

Hilcorp conducted flyovers on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, but were not able to detect bubbles from the gas leak because of ice pans in the area.

Local environmental group Cook Inletkeeper says Hilcorp is violating the federal Clean Water Act and has threatened to sue the company within 60 days.