Comment Deadline: April 22, 2014 -
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has scheduled public meetings this month to gather comments on the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Unit 1 (GMT1) oil and gas development project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). Meetings will be held in Anchorage, Fairbanks and in the NPR-A villages between March 10 and March 20.
The BLM released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the proposed project last month, launching a public comment period, which ends on Tuesday, April 22. In July 2013, ConocoPhillips, Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) submitted an application to construct a drill site, pipelines, road and other facilities to support development of petroleum resources within the Greater Mooses Tooth (GMT) Unit.
The project is approximately 14 miles west of the CPAI-operated Alpine field. The GMT1 drill site would be operated and maintained by Alpine staff and supported by existing Alpine infrastructure. The project would include construction of an 11.8-acre drill pad, an 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, including several injection wells, and be located on a federal oil and gas lease previously issued by BLM.
The project proposes to access federal oil and gas resources, as well as resources owned by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Kuukpik Corporation. The proposed development was originally analyzed in the BLM's 2004 Alpine Satellite Development Plan (ASDP) (then referred to as CD6), and is also subject to the 2012 NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan (IAP).
The BLM has prepared a draft supplement to the ASDP to evaluate any relevant new circumstances and information which have arisen since 2004. The draft plan is available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/ak/GMTU1.
Alaskans are encouraged to submit written comments and testify at an upcoming public hearing in support of Alternative A, CPAI Proposed Project.
The public hearing is in Anchorage tonight, March 20 at the Campbell Creek Science Center at 6:00 p.m. An open house will be held there from 4-6 p.m.
Public comments can also be submitted by any of the following methods:
for a letter already written to review, edit and send via e-mail now (you can print and either fax or send via snail mail too, if you prefer)
Fax: (907) 271- 3933
Mail: GMT1 Draft SEIS Comments, Attn: Bridget Psarianos
222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.
Points to consider in your comments:
Peak production from GMT1 is estimated at 30,000 BOPD and would help offset declining North Slope production.
Development would provide benefits to local, state, and national economies through local hire for jobs created during construction and operations, tax revenues, royalties, and new resources to help meet U.S. domestic energy demand.
Development will also provide significant economic benefit to Alaska Natives on the North Slope as well as throughout the state through direct payment of royalties and revenue sharing among the Alaska Native Regional Corporations.
Alternative A is the Preferred Alternative
Road Needed for Emergency Spill and Safety Response
As proposed in Alternative A, GMT1 will include a gravel road connection to the main Alpine facilities. The road is necessary to insure that the operator can respond to any environmental and safety issues in an adequate and timely manner. Alternative D, the aircraft and ice road access alternative, would not allow adequate access (on bad weather days, there would be no access) to emergency response resources and creates significant environmental and safety risk.
Environmental/Subsistence Issues are minimized with a road
CPAI's proposed project, Alternative A, has been modified to reduce environmental impacts and lower the overall footprint. In support of subsistence resources and access, the proposed project drill site location was moved out of the Fish Creek buffer to provide additional protection to this area. Road access will avoid the need for air traffic to the drill site, which is the number one complaint of subsistence hunters. Additionally, the project will be subject to various lease stipulations and the new Best Management Practices Adopted by BLM in 2013.
The overall gravel footprint of Alternative A is the smallest of all the options. Alternative D, the aircraft and ice road access alternative, has a larger gravel footprint than Alternative A because of the need to construct an airstrip and a larger gravel pad to accommodate more production equipment and a camp.
Alternative A has the lowest estimated emissions because it requires the least amount of new infrastructure and eliminates the need for airplane support.
This Project Was Previously Approved
The currently proposed GMT1 project (formerly CD6) is essentially the same as that approved for permitting in the 2004 ASDP Record of Decision.
A review of new data and information shows there are no appreciable changes in the physical, biological, or social resources associated with the project study area. New data includes multi-year studies on hydrology, birds, and caribou.
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Comment Deadline: Tuesday, April 22, 2014