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Ongoing Alaska Gas Leak Raises Concerns About Operator's Competence to Operate Safely in Arctic

Groups Urge Feds to Reject Hilcorp's Proposed Arctic Drilling Project, Cancel Upcoming Cook Inlet Lease Sale

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— In the midst of Hilcorp Alaska’s ongoing gas pipeline leak in Cook Inlet, conservation groups today demanded that the Trump administration reject the oil company’s proposal to construct and operate the Liberty project, an offshore oil and gas operation in the Beaufort Sea. If approved it would be the first oil production in federal waters in the Arctic Ocean.

In today’s letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace explained that Hilcorp’s uncontrolled leak in Cook Inlet — currently spewing up to an estimated 215,000 cubic feet of gas per day into the inlet from an offshore pipeline — demonstrates that the company is ill equipped to drill in the Arctic. The leak began in late December 2016, but was not discovered by Hilcorp until Feb. 7, 2017. Hilcorp says it cannot fix the leaking pipeline because of the presence of sea ice.

“If Hilcorp can’t fix this leak because of sea ice, how can it possibly deal with a gas leak or oil spill in the dangerously unpredictable Arctic Ocean?” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The company’s inability to stop this ongoing disaster in Cook Inlet confirms that there’s simply no way to make the Liberty project safe.”

Read more.

Learn about our work to save Cook Inlet belugas.

Contact: Kristen Monsell

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315

Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist – Population and Sustainability
jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 260-1725

Steve Jones, Media Specialist – Oceans
sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866

Jim Cronin, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
jcronin@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 283.5474 ext. 411

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Environmental Health
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; beluga photo by James Grimmerman/Flickr