ANCHORAGE, AK – April 14, 2017 – Dive crews safely and successfully installed a clamp on the fuel gas line in Middle Ground Shoal last night, stopping the release of natural gas from the affected pipeline. Weather and ice conditions allowed divers to begin their work on Saturday, April 8. A total of 12 dives were completed on the fuel gas line in order to locate the leak, then properly position, stabilize and prepare the pipeline for repair.
The leak point was located on the very bottom of the pipeline, resting on a boulder embedded in the seafloor. Initial visual inspections noted the breach to be approximately 2” in size. The affected section of the line was lifted approximately 1.5’ from the seafloor, then stabilized, allowing for closer, more careful inspection of the leak site.
Divers removed scaling and cleaned the exterior of the line. Exact measurements of the breach were taken, recording the actual size at 3/16”W x 3/8”L. After proper cleaning and preparation, a steel and rubber clamp was installed over the leak. The clamp assures a gas tight, liquid tight seal that will reinforce the pipeline.
The repair operation was provided to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Now that the leak has been stopped, over the next several days, as weather permits, further inspection and stabilization of both the oil and gas pipelines in Middle Ground Shoal will be completed. Neither pipeline will be returned to regular service until Hilcorp, along with state and federal regulators, agree it is safe to do so.
ANCHORAGE, AK – April 10, 2017 – On April 8th Hilcorp completed a successful hydrostatic pressure test of the pipeline between the Anna and Bruce platforms. The test was approved and observed by both state and federal agencies and conducted using USDOT standards. The pipeline was tested for 8 hours reaching a maximum pressure of approximately 430 psi, which is 125% of the pipeline’s maximum operating pressure. The pipeline held pressure throughout the test, meaning the pipeline is in good working order.
Hilcorp also dispatched divers to inspect the pipeline near the Anna platform. The divers completed their inspection this morning, and found the pipeline to be intact with no damage.
The results of the pressure test and inspection, considered together with the small volume (estimated at less than 3 gallons) of the release, confirm the initial indication that the pipeline was not the source of the small sheens observed in the vicinity of Anna platform.
Hilcorp’s decision to quickly shut in the pipeline mitigated the highest risk factor and was prudent operating procedure following an incident.
There have been no measurable impacts to the environment and no impacts to wildlife have been observed.
The investigation into this event is ongoing and we will continue to coordinate with regulators and submit updates as they become available.
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