The project to change the way oil and gas is transported in and around Cook Inlet has gotten an initial okay to head underwater. Earlier this month, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska granted a temporary construction permit to the Cook Inlet Pipeline Company for the offshore section of the Tyonek Pipeline.
The RCA previously approved two temporary construction permits for onshore construction work.
In the order granting approval, the RCA requested design drawings to be filed as soon as they’re available, and the made those plans confidential, saying that as critical infrastructure, knowledge of them could pose a danger to the public.
The pipeline is part of Hilcorp’s project to ship crude oil by pipeline under Cook Inlet. It will replace the barge that transported oil from the Drift River Terminal on the west side to Nikiski. Historically, the Drift River Terminal is threatened by volcanic mud flow about every 25 years, according to a Hilcorp presentation on the topic to the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce last summer.