Divers have begun work to repair a leaking subsea gas fuel line at the Middle Ground Shoal field in Cook Inlet, Hilcorp Alaska, the field operator, has announced. Hilcorp discovered the leak in early February and recently had to shut down the oil field until the leak is repaired. The company had to wait for sea ice conditions in the inlet to improve before it could safely send down divers to do the repair work.
Hilcorp says that divers have now found the leak point, a 2-inch gash where the pipeline is resting on a boulder embedded in the seafloor. The divers are now preparing for the installation of a temporary clamp over the hole, Hilcorp said in an April 10 press release.
Following this initial repair, further inspection work will be conducted and a permanent repair of the pipeline will be completed, Hilcorp said. The company said that it will not return the line to service until after the completion of permanent repairs and the conducting of pressure testing of the line, and after approval of the restart by government regulators.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in the April 16 issue, available online Friday, April 14, at www.PetroleumNews.com