Hilcorp Alaska is planning to transport crude oil direct to the Tesoro oil refinery by pipeline from oil fields on the west side of the inlet, David Wilkins, Hilcorp Alaska senior vice president, told a meeting of the Resource Development Council today. The idea is to eliminate the use of the Drift River terminal on the west side of the inlet, the oil terminal that is used to load tankers for the shipment of oil to the Tesoro refinery.
The $75 million project would involve converting one of the twin pipelines of the existing Cook Inlet Gas Gathering System for the carriage of oil and building a new subsea gas pipeline across the northern part of the inlet from the Tyonek platform to Ladd Landing, north of Tyonek.
Wilkins said that the proposed pipeline arrangement would meet both the oil and the gas needs of the inlet.
For a number of years the Drift River terminal has been a cause of concern because of its proximity to the Redoubt volcano. In 2009 an eruption of the volcano forced an evacuation of the terminal and an emergency drawdown of oil stored at the terminal site.
Wilkins commented that Hilcorp's new pipeline proposal demonstrates his company's long-term commitment to the Cook Inlet.
"We see much more development in the Cook Inlet. Many more drill wells. And we see decades worth of production in the Cook Inlet and we're going to re-invest in the Cook Inlet," Wilkins said.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in the May 14 issue, available online Friday, May 12, at www.PetroleumNews.com