Oil and Chemical Spills

Leak raises concerns about aging Alaska seafloor pipelines

Alaska's picturesque Cook Inlet is home to endangered beluga whales and wild salmon — and a spider web of oil and natural gas pipelines on the sea floor, many of them placed there five decades ago.

Cook Inlet's petroleum production is often overshadowed by Alaska's giant North Slope oil fields, but the inlet is in the spotlight as millions of cubic feet of natural gas spew from an underwater pipeline owned by the inlet's largest petroleum producer, Hilcorp Alaska LLC.

The federal agency that oversees pipeline safety has "strongly recommended" that Hilcorp develop a safety management system for its pipelines.

Environmental advocates are demanding immediate...

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