Natural gas for at least 10 days has leaked from an underwater natural gas pipeline in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and floating ice has prevented divers from reaching the site.
The gas is bubbling from a 20-centimetre pipeline in 24 metres of water about six kilometres off shore. The pipeline belonging to Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, moves processed natural gas from shore to four drilling platforms in the inlet.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating the leak. In an email response to questions, spokeswoman Candice Bressler said the agency is assessing public health and environmental risks.
“We believe the risk to public health and safety is small,” the agency said. “Environmental risk is less easy to quantify since a monitoring and assessment program is not yet in place.”
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also…