Oil in Cook Inlet traced to Unocal pipeline

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2001

NIKISKI (AP) -- Oil detected in Cook Inlet starting on Friday apparently came from an underwater pipeline that connects Unocal's Dillon platform with processing facilities, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Unocal has accepted responsibility for the spill, according to the Coast Guard.

A batch of weathered oil estimated at 120 to 200 gallons was spotted on the water near Nikiski on Friday. About 40 gallons of that was recovered.

More oil, about 40 gallons, was spotted Monday and another patch was seen Tuesday morning.

Workers on Unocal's Dillon platform discovered a pressure drop in their pipeline system Tuesday, and tests were being conducted to isolate the apparent leak. It is probably in one of two eight-inch underwater lines, the Coast Guard said.

If the investigation confirms that Unocal is responsible for the spill, the company will have to pay for the cleanup.

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