BLM to Analyze Proposal For a Second Production Well in the NPR-A
July 28, 2016
In a prepared statement, Alaska Governor Bill Walker said, "I am pleased the Bureau of Land Management will begin its environmental review of ConocoPhillips' proposed oil and gas development of Greater Mooses Tooth-2 project. At ConocoPhillips' request, I sent a letter of support to President Obama on this project. We received a call from the White House earlier [Monday] to let us know of this announcement and to discuss the regulatory timeline for this project. With the Trans-Alaska Pipeline three-quarters empty, I am committed to working with our federal partners to spur production. I thank BLM Director Neil Kornze and his staff for meeting with me and my team today on a collaborative path forward."
In August 2015, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) submitted an application for a permit to drill that includes construction of a drill site, access road, pipelines, and other facilities to support development of petroleum resources within the GMT Unit.
The GMT2 project proposal would locate a drill site within the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit on land currently managed by BLM that is selected for conveyance to the Kuukpik Corporation, an Alaska Native corporation organized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA). The associated pipeline and access road would traverse both Kuukpik Corporation lands and Federal lands within the NPR-A and connect to the Greater Mooses Tooth One (GMT1) development project, which was approved in February 2015 after its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed in October 2014. The GMT2 site is located eight miles southwest of GMT1 and about 20 miles southwest of CPAI’s producing Alpine Field on State of Alaska lands.
The proposed development was originally analyzed in the BLM’s 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan (ASDP) and is also subject to the 2012 NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP), approved in February 2013. The BLM will prepare a Supplemental EIS to the ASDP to evaluate new circumstances and information, including changes to project design, new data on climate change, and the 2008 listing of the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
A 30-day scoping period for the Draft Supplemental EIS begins with publication of the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on July 29. The public scoping process determines relevant issues, including alternatives, which will influence the scope of the environmental review and guide the Supplemental EIS process. The BLM invites the public to provide comments on relevant issues.
Nearly the size of Indiana, the NPR-A, located on Alaska’s North Slope, is the largest single block of federally-managed land in the United States. By law, the BLM administers the NPR-A for the purposes of oil and gas development along with protection of areas containing significant subsistence, recreational, fish and wildlife, historical, or scenic value. The Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, as amended, which transferred the NPR-A from the Navy to the Department of the Interior, mandates protection of these special areas while also providing for expeditious development of oil and gas resources.
The BLM’s 2013 Area-Wide Integrated Activity Plan identified 11 million acres in the NPR-A for protection of natural values, while making close to 12 million acres and 72 percent of the technically- and economically-recoverable oil available for development. Currently, 207 authorized leases cover more than 1.73 million acres in the NPR-A. Since 1999, 10 lease sales in the NPR-A have garnered more than $261 million. In 2011, President Obama directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct annual oil and gas lease sales in the NPR-A. Lease sales had previously been held every two years.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.
Comments on the proposed GMT2 Development Project draft Supplemental EIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
• Email: BLM_AK_GMT2_Comments@blm.gov
• Fax: (907) 271- 5479
Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Fairbanks District Office, 222 University Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska 99709, and the Alaska State Office Public Room, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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