Doyon, Limited Announces New Oil and Gas Exploration in Yukon Flats
Two Yukon Flats Villages to Provide Support Services
Fairbanks, Alaska –Doyon, Limited, the regional Native corporation for Interior Alaska, will sponsor new oil and gas exploration this winter in the Yukon Flats. The project is scheduled to begin January 28, 2010 and designed to gather about 95 line miles of 2D seismic data on Native lands north of Stevens Village. The 200,000 acre block of Native lands to be explored is owned by Doyon and Dinyee, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) village corporation for Stevens Village. The area is adjacent to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) corridor and within 15-30 miles of TAPS.
Access to the area and data gathering will be conducted via helicopter and snow machine. CGGVeritas will be the seismic contractor. Support services will be provided by Arctic Contracting LLC, which is a venture owned jointly by Dinyee Corporation and by Titheet” Aii, Inc., the Birch Creek ANCSA village corporation. Additional support services will be provided by Doyon Universal Services and Taiga Ventures.
According to Jim Mery, Doyon Senior VP of Lands and Natural Resources, “new studies undertaken by the U. S. Geological Survey in recent years indicate that the Stevens Village area may hold significant promise for economic concentrations of natural gas and oil. With any positive results this winter, we intend to generate new industry exploration interest, not just at Stevens but also on other Doyon lands near Birch Creek where earlier seismic efforts show a favorable subsurface setting for hydrocarbons.”
Harold Simon, the First Chief of Stevens Village, stated that his village corporation and tribal council are “pleased to work closely with Doyon on a project that supports numerous opportunities for our members, including workforce development.”
Maureen Mayo, Operations Manager of Dinyee, said that her Board of Directors “recognizes that well-managed oil and gas development on a small portion of our traditional lands, coupled with appropriate oversight by Doyon and Dinyee working together, is compatible with our mission and values.” She further stated that “by applying the best practices we believe both development and traditional use can work in harmony. “
Jackie Balaam, a resident of Birch Creek and President of Titheet” Aii, Inc., noted that “my community has long supported careful oil and gas development because of the economic opportunities it could provide for long term village sustainability.”
Norman L. Phillips, Jr., President and CEO of Doyon, Limited, said “ our efforts in the Yukon Flats this winter are part of a multi-year plan to conduct additional exploration on a variety of natural resource projects on Doyon lands, add significant value and thereby attract other companies to conduct follow-on exploration. An important part of this plan is to work closely with local communities to assure a meaningful economic stake in any project.”
Between 15 and 20 Stevens Village tribal members are expected to be hired during the different phases of this winter’s program. Seismic testing should be completed by early April.