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Corps Decision Clears Way for Development of NPR-A
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Approves Surface Access to National Petroleum Reserve


December 20, 2011
Tuesday AM

(SitNews) - WASHINGTON, D.C. –The decision Monday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to grant road access to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) via construction of a bridge across the Colville River was welcomed by Alaska officials.

The Corps permit authorizes construction of a drill pad, two valve pads, pipeline support structures, access roads and four bridge crossings for the development of the CD-5 site, located just inside NPR-A’s eastern border. ConocoPhillips has been working for nearly a decade to tap the oil and gas reserves at CD-5, a satellite of the company’s Alpine field on the North Slope.

The Corps permit represents the final hurdle to ConocoPhillips’ plan to connect CD-5 to pipelines and other infrastructure at Alpine. The bridge has the support of the North Slope Borough; the village of Nuiqsut; the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which owns the subsurface rights to CD-5; and the Alaska Native village corporation for Nuiqsut, Kuukpik Corp. which owns the surface rights at CD-5.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a prepared statement, “Today’s decision clears the way for the National Petroleum Reserve’s first oil production,” Murkowski said. “NPR-A has long been cited as an example of the federal government’s commitment to domestic oil production, but in reality the gates to NPR-A have been locked by bureaucracy and regulatory red tape. The Corps’ revised decision finally unlocks those gates.”

Murkowski said, “In May, the president pledged to increase safe and responsible oil production, and directed the Department of Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve,” She said. “Today’s [Monday's] decision represents a victory for Alaska that was a long time coming. If the president wants to make good on his promise to increase oil production from NPR-A, he must take concrete steps to ensure that future projects are not subject to this type of unnecessary delay.”

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) was pleased that development is moving forward in NPR-A. In a prepared statement he said, “This is great news for federal oil and gas development in Alaska. After years of hard work and negotiations, this project can finally move forward."

Begich said, “The wetlands permit for ConocoPhillips’ CD-5 development will give the industry a chance to show once again that we know how to do development right in Alaska, we can help fill the pipeline, and create hundreds of good-paying construction jobs to build this new field in NPR-A."

Begich said, “When I came into office nearly three years ago, federal development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources was stuck and not moving. Because of our work, and that of the entire delegation, we are now making progress on CD-5, off-shore development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas is moving ahead; and we continue to push for opening the coastal plain of ANWR to oil and gas development.”

In a prepared statement Governor Sean Parnell said, “I commend the Corps for finally moving this vital project forward. The potential new production from the NPR-A can lead to more jobs for Alaskans. Increasing responsible energy production is a national and economic security imperative. We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Congressman Don Young (R-AK) was also pleased; however, long overdue. In a prepared statement he said, While I certainly welcome today’s announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers, the truth is that approval of the CD-5 project is long overdue and frankly should have been green lighted the first time. Nevertheless, this is a project that will allow Conoco to start developing their leases in the NPR-A and help put oil in the pipeline – both of which will help grow Alaska’s economy and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”



Sources of News: 

Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Office of U.S. Senator Mark Begich

Office of Congressman Don Young

Office of Governor Sean Parnell


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Ketchikan, Alaska

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