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Begich Pushes Jewell for More Resource Development in the Arctic

Focuses on more Oil, Gas and Jobs

U.S. Senator Mark Begich pushed for expanded oil and gas development during a tour of North Slope resource development projects with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Saturday.

“I wanted Sec. Jewell to see how we operate here in Alaska and the lengths we go to ensure that we develop our resources responsibly,” said Begich. 

Begich and Jewell flew to ConocoPhillips’ Alpine development to visit the CD-5 drill site which is located a short distance away from Alpine production facilities and scheduled to come online in 18-24 months.  Alpine is a model North Slope development project, with limited roads and environmental impact, estimated to contain 550 million barrels of oil.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and that soon more oil will be flowing through the pipeline bringing more energy security to the nation and hundreds of family wage jobs for Alaska,” said Begich.  “CD-5 is a complicated project involving multiple-agency review.  Because we were able to get the federal government to respond to our requests, construction is about to move forward and we can expect production in the next two years.  When completed, we’ll have 10,000 – 18,000 barrels moving through that pipeline every day.”

Begich and Jewell also saw GMT-1 and GMT-2 drill sites which are new development opportunities in the NPRA  that have begun permitting this summer.

“I believe Secretary Jewell learned a lot today about the responsible resources development in Alaska,” said Begich.  “She was able to see first-hand the small footprint of operations and the cutting-edge technology Alaskans use to ensure drilling has minimal impact on the environment despite some of the most challenging conditions on earth.”

Begich and Jewell also viewed legacy wells to help her get a better understanding of what it will take for the federal government to clean up the wells.  Begich emphasized to Jewell that he would not let the federal government walk away from their responsibility to clean up the wells.

Begich and Jewell concluded their journey in Barrow where they met with members of the community to talk about resource development and how the Alaska Native community has partnered with the oil and gas industry to protect subsistence in the Arctic.

“The unique relationship between the Alaska Native community and the oil and gas industry has allowed them to work together to protect the environment while forging ahead with development on and off-shore,” said Begich.  “I know that I’ve given Secretary Jewell a lot to think about during her visit.  When I’m back in Washington, I won’t hesitate to remind her about this trip and that Alaskans are at the forefront of responsible resource development.”

During a meeting last week with the state’s largest oil and gas companies, Jewell, a former oil company engineer who worked on aspects of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, said President Obama supports continued responsible offshore oil and gas development in Alaska’s Arctic.  Jewell visited the North Slope at Begich’s request.

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