Sheen spotted near Hilcorp’s Cook Inlet platform

Unified command has been established in response to reports of a sheen near a platform in the Cook Inlet, Alaska.

The command has been comprised of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and oil company Hilcorp Alaska (Hilcorp).

The sheen has been reported near the Anna Platform, located in the Granite Point Field of Cook Inlet. A sheen was discovered by Hilcorp personnel at 11:20 a.m., Saturday. Production was shut down immediately and the incident was reported to ADEC at 12:05 p.m. on the same day.

According the the Coast Guard, three flyovers were conducted Saturday. During the first flyover at approximately 11:30 a.m., several sheens were spotted approximately three miles downstream from the platform. The other two flights did not identify any sheen in the area. Two additional flyovers were completed today at 10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. No sheen was sighted in the area.

The suspected source of the release is an oil pipeline running between the Anna and Bruce platforms. In order to reduce the risk of a further spill, platform crews are displacing the existing oil in the pipeline with seawater.

The Coast Guard said that USCG and ADEC personnel have boarded the Anna Platform and will be observing the operation. The Perseverance, a Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response (CISPRI) vessel, is also on scene and will remain there until the oil is removed from the line. At this time, the cause of the release and sheen is unknown, the USCG said.

This is not the only issue Hicorp is trying to resolve in the Cook Inlet. Namely, the company has been working on stopping a gas leak from a pipeline between Platform A and Nikinski. The gas leak was first reported on February 7, and it has been leaking ever since.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has given Hilcorp until May 1 to stop the leak.