Hilcorp Lowers Pressure, Slows Gas Leak in Alaska Pipeline

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The owner of an underwater pipeline leaking processed natural gas into Alaska’s Cook Inlet has lowered pressure in the line to reduce flow.

Hilcorp Alaska LLC now estimates that the pipe is leaking 193,000 to 215,000 cubic feet of gas per day in waters that contain endangered beluga whales.

That’s down from company estimates of up to 310,000 cubic feet per day spewing before Monday.

Hilcorp says repair equipment is staged, but ice in Cook Inlet continues to make it too risky to start repairs.

The pipeline moves processed natural gas from shore to four petroleum production platforms in the inlet. The leak may have begun in mid-December.

Environmental groups have called for an immediate shutdown of the pipe. Hilcorp says no significant impacts to the environment have been detected.

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