Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

US OKs Commercial Drilling in Alaska Oil Reserve

The US Interior Department on Friday gave final approval to a plan by ConocoPhillips and partner Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to develop five tracts around the oil-rich Alpine field on Alaska's North Slope.

The department's Bureau of Land Management authorized the first commercial development of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, allowing the companies to go forward with developing the tracts, which are located in the northeastern corner of the reserve.

Production from these fields, which together hold more than 330 million barrels of oil, will start by 2006, according to the BLM. They will supplement production from the Alpine fields, which hold 429 million barrels and have a daily oil output of about 100,000 barrels.

Environmentalists have criticized the plan to develop these Alpine satellite fields as a rollback of environmental protections promised during the Clinton administration.

The BLM said it modified the original development proposal to offer greater protection to wildlife and sensitive habitats in the reserve.

Some of the major changes include relocating portions of the gravel access roads and pipeline routes, moving power lines and raising pipelines an additional 2 feet to 7 feet to help migrating caribou.

"It allows for the energy development our country needs, while protecting the land, water and wildlife. It will show that this, and future Arctic development, can and will be done in an environmentally sensitive way," said Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson.

The petroleum reserve, the size of Indiana, was set aside in 1923 for its energy potential, but until recently it has been ignored in favor of the region to the east, around the giant Prudhoe Bay field.

The Bush administration believes the new Congress next year will approve oil drilling in the separate Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which may hold up to 16 billion barrels of crude.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


Is This The End Of China’s Coal Boom?

“The End Of China’s Coal Boom,” is a new, must-read …

The Age of Diminishing Returns

A Q&A with Ugo Bardi, author of Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral …

Energy Crunch: The end of business as usual for fossil fuels?

It’s the end of business as usual for fossil fuels. That’s …

Peak oil notes - April 17

A mid-week update. Oil prices in London have risen this week on concerns …

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued …

Kashagan – Back to the drawing board?

The recent shutdown of Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan represents one …

King Coal Is Dying a Slow Death in America

In cities choked by pollution and a world coming to grips with the realities …