Harvest Alaska files application for construction of Cook Inlet pipeline

Harvest Alaska, an affiliate of Hilcorp Alaska, filed an application last week for a cross-inlet pipeline system in the Cook Inlet.

Their filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska asks permission to expand and modify the Cook Inlet Pipe Line system, allowing oil, instead of gas, to be shipped cross-inlet.

Hilcorp says transporting oil via pipeline will allow for the shutdown and decommissioning of the Drift River Terminal and Christy Lee Platform.

The President of Harvest Alaska said the Cross Inlet Extension Project will bring a higher level of safety and reliability for shipping oil across Cook Inlet.

But not all locals are so sure.
Earlier this year, two Hilcorp pipelines were found leaking - one of the spills released natural gas into the Inlet for almost five months before crews were sent in to fix it.

The Advocacy Director for 'The Inlet Keeper', Bob Shavelson, says he is concerned about Hilcorp due to what he describes as their history of putting profit before human safety and the environment.

"They have got a lousy track record with environmental and worker health and safety issues in Cook Inlet and the North Slope, and their corporate culture seems to support that. There needs to be heightened scrutiny on this project. Taking an old gas pipeline and converting it to an oil pipeline, that raises concerns for us because we want to make sure that that this pipeline that's going to be carrying oil has state of the art spill and leak detection capabilities."