Hilcorp Alaska fined again by state well regulators

State oil-well regulators hit Hilcorp Alaska with another fine on Thursday, a $30,000 penalty for meter-related violations at a natural gas field on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, noting Hilcorp's history of violations in Alaska, said the missteps occurred between August 2014 and December 2015 at the Ninilchik Unit northeast of the community by the same name.

"Hilcorp's history of noncompliance and its failure to take the rudimentary measure of entering AOGCC's requirements in its regulatory tracking system preclude any claim that Hilcorp has acted in good faith," the agency said.

Hilcorp was fined $20,000 for not calibrating the meter in August 2014 at the Bartolowits Pad, and $10,000 for not submitting meter-performance reports for 17 months.

The decision, with a long list detailing Hilcorp's history of "noncompliance" in Alaska, was signed by commissioners Daniel Seamount and Chair Cathy Foerster. New commissioner Hollis French didn't sign the order.

The privately held company from Houston, Texas, was fined $30,000 last month for operating an oil well in mid-2015 with a failed gas detection system at Milne Point on the North Slope. In May, it was fined $20,000 for another violation at Milne, after a blowout preventer was used to shut down a well in early 2015. The blowout preventer was not tested before well work resumed, as required.

Hilcorp officials could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or