Hilcorp Gas Leak in Cook Inlet
Hilcorp CEO Jeff Hildebrand after a tough game of polo. He's worth more than $5 billion but Hilcorp continues to violate state and federal laws.
On February 10, Inletkeeper wrote to ADEC calling for an immediate shut-down on Hilcorp’s leaking gas line.
On February 15, 2017, Inletkeeper sent Hilcorp a Notice of Intent to Sue under the federal Clean Water Act for illegal discharges to Cook Inlet which threaten water quality, fish and Beluga whales.
Inletkeeper’s Notice of Intent to Sue is meant to provide a back-stop in the event Hilcorp opts to continue to put profits over fish, wildlife and water quality in Cook Inlet, and to press Hilcorp to address the larger issue of relying on antiquated infrastructure as part of its Cook Inlet business model.
Hilcorp has put forth various excuses why it cannot shut down the leaking pipeline – including that water would infiltrate the gas line and other reasons – but the fact remains Hilcorp simply wants to maintain production and profits without interruption.
“Hilcorp’s obligation right now must be to Cook Inlet, not to continued profits,” said Inletkeeper Bob Shavelson. “Hilcorp has reaped sizable tax credits and enjoyed considerable profits during a time of fiscal crisis in Alaska, and it has a responsibility to do the right thing and immediately shut-down the pipeline until it can operate safely without polluting Cook Inlet.”
Hilcorp's CEO Jeff Hildebrand is reportedly worth more than $5.5 BILLION, and his business philosophy is to buy-up aging oil fields and wring out any remaining profits. That means cutting corners and not investing in antiquated pipelines and other infrastructure. The Alaska Oil & gas Conservation Commission has even gone so far as to say “[t]he disregard for regulatory compliance is endemic to Hilcorp’s approach to its Alaska operations….”
Inletkeeper obtained a video of Hilcorp’s illegal natural gas discharge taken on or about February 8, 2017. Since that time, Hilcorp has apparently reduced flow through the gas line, but considerable discharges from the leaking pipeline continue.