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Energy

Oil company fined $50,000 for well-safety violations in Cook Inlet

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: December 30, 2018
  • Published December 30, 2018

A state regulatory agency upheld a $50,000 fine against Cook Inlet Energy on Wednesday for not reporting increased pressure in a well that an official said could have led to a leak in Cook Inlet.

The oil and gas company was able to safely reduce the pressure that rose between an inner and outer pipe, but failed to report the matter as it should have, a serious problem, said Hollis French, chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The incident could have led to an oil or gas leak, he said.

Cook Inlet Energy was required to report the problem within a day. Instead, the company waited four months, according to the decision.

Also, the company operated the well though it had not undergone a required review by the commission, another violation.

“(The) violations committed by CIE were neither trivial nor technical,” the decision said.

The commission fined the company $446,000 in 2017 for well-safety violations associated with a separate well in western Cook Inlet.

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