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Remediation Scheduled for Legacy Wells at Umiat


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Remediation work is scheduled to begin in March on legacy wells near Umiat within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), under an interagency agreement between the Bureau of Land Management Alaska and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

The Corps has awarded a contract to Marsh Creek, LLC to plug Umiat Wells 1, 3 and 11. In addition, the contract calls for removal of wellheads at Umiat Wells 4, 8, and 10. The total cost of the project is approximately $10 million, including mobilization and demobilization. Mobilization is scheduled to begin the week of March 1. Remediation work on Umiat Wells 6, 7, and 9 was completed in 2011 and 2012.

Between 1944 and 1982, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Geological Survey conducted a program of exploratory and scientific drilling on Alaska’s North Slope in what is now the NPR-A. The BLM was given responsibility for managing the NPR-A in 1976 and inherited the responsibility to assess, plug and remediate these wells in 1982. 

Since 2002, the BLM has plugged eighteen wells and remediated four reserve pits at a cost of nearly $86 million. The September 2013 passage of the Helium Stewardship Act included a provision to fund BLM’s legacy well cleanup efforts with $50 million through fiscal year 2019. The 2013 Legacy Wells Strategic Plan outlines priorities and actions BLM will take to clean up legacy wells in the NPR-A.      

The 2013 Legacy Wells Strategic Plan and additional information on NPR-A legacy wells can be found at http://www.blm.gov/ak.


The Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. With a total workforce of over 10,000 employees, the BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.


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