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Hilcorp receives go-ahead to begin seismic exploration of lower Cook Inlet

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Oil and gas development company Hillcorp will conduct a seismic survey of lower Cook Inlet within the next few months. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management gave the company the green light this week to conduct the survey on an offshore lease site west of Kachemak Bay, according to a press release.

The bureau’s permit allows Hilcorp 60 days to run the survey on roughly 370 square miles. The company currently has eleven oil and gas units across the peninsula. 

Hillcorp can use this survey to find offshore oil and gas resources. The permit approval comes after the bureau issued a finding of no significant impact to the environment. However, environmental advocates have raised concerns about the potential effect on fish and wildlife.

The last time a similar survey was conducted in Cook Inlet was in 2005.

Hilcorp did not respond to an interview request Friday. However, company representatives are scheduled to give a presentation about their study to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, August 20.  Hilcorp has until the end of October to finish its survey. 


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Renee joined KBBI in 2017 as a general assignment reporter and host. Her work has appeared on such shows as Weekend Edition Saturday, The World, Marketplace and Studio 360. Renee previously interned as a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles and as a producer for Stateside at Michigan Radio. Her work has earned her numerous press club awards. She holds an M.S. in journalism from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.