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Hilcorp Alaska stops gas pipeline leak

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World Pipelines,

On 7 February, an underwater natural gas pipeline began leaking in Cook Inlet. As of 13 April, the pipeline has been repaired, according to Hilcorp Alaska.

The pipeline repair operations were put on hold and delayed for weeks due to the extreme weather and ice conditions. However, on 8 April, Hilcorp Alaska was able to begin repair of the line.

The company stated: “A total of 12 dives were completed on the fuel gas line in order to locate the leak, then properly position, stabilise and prepare the pipeline for repair. […] Now that the leak has been stopped, over the next several days, as weather permits, further inspection and stabilisation of both the oil and gas pipelines in Middle Ground Shoal will be completed. Neither pipeline will be returned to regular service until Hilcorp, along with state and federal regulators, agree it is safe to do so.”

It has been reported by divers that a boulder had caused the leak. Due to the powerful water current, the boulder had bent the pipeline which, as a result, caused a crack in the line.

Kristin Ryan, Director of Spill Prevention and Response at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) explained that the cause came as no surprise, since "historically, that's what has happened on that line before.”

Ryan has said that ADEC will review all existing energy infrastructure within Cook Inlet.

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