As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy resources, the Bureau of Land Management is releasing a draft environmental review for the first proposed petroleum development on federal lands in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), located on the western half of the State’s North Slope.
“The Obama Administration has strongly encouraged the environmentally appropriate development of the NPR-A’s oil and gas resources,” said Neil Kornze, BLM Principal Deputy Director. “Today’s action reflects the Administration’s balanced approach to meeting the nation’s energy needs while reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
In July 2013, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) submitted an application for a right-of-way grant and related authorizations to construct a drill site, pipelines and other facilities to support development of petroleum resources within the Greater Mooses Tooth (GMT) Unit. The proposed GMT1 project would facilitate the first commercial production of oil from federal lands in the NPR-A.
The project as proposed by CPAI would include construction of an 11.8-acre drill pad, an approximately 8-mile access road, above-ground elevated pipelines and an electric power line connecting the GMT1 drill pad to CPAI’s CD-5 drill pad currently under development. The GMT1 pad would have a capacity for up to 33 production wells and several injection wells, and be located on a federal oil and gas lease previously issued by BLM under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act (NPRPA).
The BLM manages the surface and subsurface at the drill site and the majority of the proposed pipeline route. The GMT1 site is located about 17 miles west of ConocoPhillips’ producing Alpine Field on State of Alaska lands.
The proposed development was originally analyzed in the BLM’s 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan (ASPD) and is also subject to the 2012 NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP). The BLM has prepared a draft supplement to the ASPD to evaluate any relevant new circumstances and information which have arisen since 2004.
The key issues in the Supplement center on the protection of surface resources and appropriate mitigation measures for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed project. The DEIS also analyzes an alternative that does not include a gravel road between GMT1 and CD5 – GMT1 would be accessed by aircraft and ice road.
A Federal Register Notice of Availability for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) will be published on February 21, 2014 and will launch the official 60-day public comment period, which will go through April 22, 2014. Starting today, the draft plan is available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/ak/GMTU1.
The public is invited to provide comments about the draft plan and its alternatives. Comments on the Draft SEIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
email: email@example.com fax: (907) 271- 3933 mail: GMT1 Draft SEIS Comments
Attn: Bridget Psarianos 222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13 Anchorage, Alaska 99513.
· In person at the BLM Public Information Center at 222 W. 7th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99513.
· In person at public meetings. The BLM plans to hold public meetings during the comment period in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the North Slope communities of Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Barrow, Nuiqsut, Point Lay and Wainwright. We will announce the meeting dates, times, and specific locations through our website, public notices, news releases and other mailings.
If you have questions about the public comment process, please call Bridget Psarianos, BLM-Alaska Project Lead at (907) 271-4208.
Documents pertinent to this proposal may also be examined at the BLM Fairbanks District Office, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709; and the BLM Alaska State Office Public Room, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.
Erin Curtis Chief, Office of Communications BLM-Alaska 907-271-4418