AIDEA Board Authorizes Pre-Development Permitting, Planning Budget for Section 1002 Area Oil & Gas Leases
The AIDEA Board passed Resolution G21-18, which authorizes AIDEA to spend up to $1.5 million on pre-development permitting and planning work on its Section 1002 Area Oil & Gas Leases. Activities will support a phased, multi-year seismic acquisition program targeted to begin in 2022.
The non-wilderness Section 1002 Area of ANWR contains an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Exploration, development, and production is predicted to generate 1,430 direct jobs and 6,350 indirect jobs annually and 2,480 direct jobs and 10,100 indirect jobs at peak employment. Establishing the permitting for a 3D seismic data program starting in 2022 will support future exploration planning to reduce surface impacts and optimize field drilling efforts.
Assessments of Section 1002 Area’s resource potential is based on 2D seismic data undertaken by the US Geological Survey (USGS) for a 1987 report. While the existing data is meaningful, it can be improved upon by detailed mapping of structural and stratigraphic prospects. “We can reliably enhance those early oil and gas resource estimates through responsible, carefully planned, low-impact 3-D seismic surveys,” said AIDEA Chairman Dana Pruhs.
Processed data will be used to define the most prospective locations for recoverable petroleum resources. Properly sited drilling locations along with responsible efforts to prevent negative surface impacts will enhance AIDEA’s compliance with the extensive regional, state, and federal stipulations for a responsible exploration program that co-exists with regional conservation. “From seismic to drilling, significant advancements in technology have facilitated world-class environmental stewardship in Alaska’s North Slope protecting the tundra, our waterways, and wildlife within Alaska’s arctic ecosystem,” says AIDEA Executive Director Alan Weitzner.
“Nowhere will you find better regulated oil fields, and every barrel produced in Alaska is one less that needs to be produced in regions that don’t share our high standards,” wrote Edward Rexford Sr., president of the Native Village of Kaktovik and Governor Mike Dunleavy in a recent Newsweek op-ed. Support for developing the Section 1002 Area comes from a wide cross-section of Alaskans, including the Voice of the Arctic lñupiat (a non-profit coalition comprised of 24 entities including tribal councils, regional organizations, municipal governments, and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporations located in and around the 1002 Area), Governor Dunleavy, Alaska’s Legislature, and all members of Alaska’s congressional delegation since 1980.