A federal agency has approved a permit for Hilcorp Alaska, LLC to perform geological survey work in Cook Inlet lease tracts acquired two years ago.

It will be the first survey in Cook Inlet since July 2005, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which made the announcement on Wednesday.

The agency said work will begin in late summer or early fall, and Hilcorp will have 60 days to complete its survey. Surveying for prospective oil and gas will take place in an area covering slightly more than 600 miles in the lower Cook Inlet region west of Homer.

Completion time depends on weather conditions and presence of marine mammals.

Hilcorp did not respond to messages left with its Anchorage office Wednesday afternoon.

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