An oil pipeline operated by Hilcorp Energy is leaking in Alaska's Cook Inlet, according to a report by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).
The underwater leak was found Saturday and is unrelated to the ongoing leaking natural gas pipeline also operated by Hilcorp Energy in Cook Inlet.
Hilcorp has shut down two of its production platforms in the inlet that are connected by the oil pipeline, which is now operating at reduced pressure, according to ADEC.
The amount of oil spilled is estimated to be only 10 gallons so far, but spill prevention and response director Kristen Ryan said on Sunday that officials do not know if the line is still leaking.
Environmentalists are worried that the oil spill, as well as the ongoing natural gas leak, will cause harm to habitats located in the inlet, which are home to the beluga whale, Steller sea lion, humpback whale, and other wildlife.
PHMSA on March 3 had issued a Notice of Proposed Safety Order to Hilcorp requiring the company to either make repairs or shut down the leaking natural gas line by May 1.
The cause of the oil leak is unknown but is being investigated. Hilcorp has hired a diving crew to investigate the line and make any necessary repairs, which should begin sometime late next week, according to ADEC.