Coast Guard Investigating Crude Oil Spill

Monday, December 03, 2001
The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Kenai is investigating a minor crude oil spill that occurred this morning on the Dillon oil and gas production platform located in Cook Inlet.

The source of the spill on the platform was a cracked fitting on the discharge side of a high-pressure pump used to re-inject crude oil into the well. The exact size of the spill is unknown, but reports from Unocal officials indicate that the maximum size of the spill was 2,310 gallons. Most of the spilled product did not enter the waters of Cook Inlet, but was contained on the platform. It is not known how much crude oil entered the water.

Unocal, in conjunction with CISPRI, conducted over flights of the area and also dispatched the spill response vessel Sea Bulk Montana to the spill location. An over flight at 6 a.m. using an infrared camera located a small 50 x 300 foot sheen seven miles south of the platform. A second over flight at 9:30 a.m. searched for more than an hour and found no sign of the spilled oil.

The local National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientific support coordinator conducted an analysis of the currents, tides, and wind conditions present at the time of the spill. The analysis indicated the spill would break up in central Cook Inlet and would not impact the shore or any wildlife that may be in the area.

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