Cook Inlet Pipeline Infrastructure Risk Assessment

Cook Inlet Pipeline Integrity Assessment Solicitation for Expert Panel Participants

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), in partnership with the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) is conducting the Cook Inlet Pipeline Integrity Assessment. As part of this project, an Expert Panel is being convened to recommend suitable risk mitigation measures.

Project Goal and Scope

The goal of the project is to ensure the continued safe operation of the Cook Inlet oil and gas pipeline infrastructure by anticipating problems in this aging infrastructure, and recommending and implementing risk reduction measures before further loss of integrity events occur.

The scope of the project includes the following types of pipelines within the Cook Inlet, Alaska region:

  • Pipelines transporting crude oil, three-phase fluids (oil/water/gas), or natural gas, where the gas lines are directly related to oil production activities
  • Abandoned pipelines

Expert Panel Role

The project goal will be accomplished with the assistance of an expert panel.  The panel will consider causal factors of past loss of integrity events, leading indicators of future events, and current integrity management practices.  The objective of the Expert Panel process is to develop consensus recommendations on appropriate risk reduction measures. Recommendations may include, but are not limited to, operational best practices, additional investigation, regulatory changes, information gathering, and infrastructure changes.

The panel will interact with pipeline operators, regulators, and the public before developing comprehensive recommendations aimed at extending the life of the Cook Inlet oil and gas production pipeline infrastructure.

An inventory, compilation of information on reported spills resulting from loss of integrity events, and regulatory overview of Cook Inlet pipelines will be presented to the Expert Panel to establish the common causes, frequencies, and trends of failures in this aging infrastructure.

The Expert Panel is not being charged with providing a critique of past or present integrity management and spill mitigation programs (or spill responses) in the Cook Inlet area.

Expert Panel Composition

An independent panel of five experts is being selected based on demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas:

  • General knowledge of crude oil production operations and measures used to
    • Inspect for aging conditions
    • Detect leaks
    • Prevent leaks and spills
  • Knowledge of pipeline design and specifications
  • Knowledge of loss-of-integrity root cause investigations and common cause analysis
  • Knowledge of analysis of leak data and general engineering practices

Experts from both within and outside Alaska are encouraged to apply.


It is the responsibility of the Expert Panel to provide independent recommendations on mitigation measures, programs, and practices to monitor and address common causes of failures identified in the analysis of spill data.  The Panel will strive for consensus in their recommendations.

The Expert Panel will meet in person approximately three (3) times.  All meetings will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. Exact meeting dates will be scheduled with the input of Expert Panel participants but will be targeted as follows:

  • Panel orientation, overview and public workshop: May 2019
  • Work session to review background information and develop mitigation measure recommendations: August 2019
  • Final meeting to review and approve final report: October 2019

Remote participation in meetings may be available but is discouraged.


Expert Panel positions are voluntary appointments; however, a reasonable honorarium will be provided.   Necessary travel expenses, meals, and lodging will be provided.

Termination Date

The Expert Panel will exist only during the life of the project, which will conclude on or before June 30, 2020.


Interested and qualified experts are encouraged to apply for a seat on the Expert Panel by submitting the following information:

  • Cover letter describing interest and experience, identifying relevant topic area of expertise, and identifying any potential areas for real or perceived conflicts of interest (e.g., current or past work for a current Cook Inlet pipeline operator*)
  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Reference to any relevant publications authored or co-authored by the applicant (if applicable)

Information should be sent to ADEC’s contracted facilitator, Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC, no later than January 18, 2019 via Sara Nichols (

ADEC and CIRCAC will review applications and select the panel in late January, following the application deadline of January 18.


Questions should be directed to Sierra Fletcher via