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State, Aleut Corp. Sign MOU on Oil & Gas Exploration
Will Hold Concurrent Lease Sales and Work Together on Infrastructure


December 19, 2003
Friday - 12:55 am

Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced Thursday that the Department of Natural Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aleut Corporation to hold concurrent oil and gas lease sales on their adjacent lands, and to work to facilitate the construction of transportation infrastructure to support oil and gas development in the Aleut Corporation area. The MOU is similar to one entered into by DNR and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation last Fall and is consistent with the administration's policy of working with the people of the area to develop natural resources.

"The Aleut Corporation is the other major landowner in the Alaska Peninsula area, where we believe significant, commercial quantities of oil and gas can be found," Murkowski said. "We are very pleased that the Aleut Corporation shares the vision of resource development with the state and BBNC. We hope to build a strong economy in cooperation with the people of the region. This MOU is one marker of our commitment, along with the regional corporation, to provide a foundation for that economy."

Under the five-year MOU, the parties agree to work cooperatively to ensure that resource exploration and development activities are done in an environmentally responsible manner, and consistent with land management and development plans of both parties. They also will work to re-open offshore oil and gas prospects in the region, and will try to synchronize the timing of leasing schedules for their respective, adjacent lands. The MOU also has both parties working together to facilitate design and construction of a transportation network to make oil, gas, and other mineral prospects more accessible, and to interconnect communities.

Under the MOU, the state and Native corporation also have a mandate to communicate their development goals to other interested parties throughout Southwest Alaska, including tribal organizations, village corporations, and borough and city governments.

The MOU was signed Thursday by Aleut Corporation President Martha Malavansky and DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin. In accordance with his policy of working with the local people, Murkowski said he expects to sign similar MOUs with the Bristol Bay Borough, the Lake & Peninsula Borough, and the Aleutians East Borough, as well.



Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
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