Doyon Announces Agreement with Hilcorp for Exploration in Yukon Flats
Map of Yukon Flats exploration area.
FAIRBANKS –Alaska Native regional corporation Doyon, Limited entered an agreement with Hilcorp for renewed oil and gas exploration in a portion of the Yukon Flats.
The agreement covers 1.6 million acres of Doyon owned mineral rights in the Yukon Flats subregion where Doyon has a long-held interest in the oil and gas potential of the area. The greater Yukon Flats area comprises over 10 million acres, with much of it under federal ownership as part of the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The agreement with Hilcorp includes an initial airborne gravity survey of the region followed by the opportunity for further exploration in the form of seismic and drilling programs. The initial focus of exploration is in the Birch Creek area.
Doyon’s interest in oil and gas in the subregion was highlighted beginning with the selection of ANCSA lands by Doyon in the area. In 1974, only two years after its incorporation, Doyon signed a series of land selection agreements among Beaver, Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Circle, and Birch Creek in order to maximize Native-owned lands selections. These agreements resulted in 400,000 extra acres of ANCSA lands in the Yukon Flats. This was done to both capitalize on economic benefits from the oil and gas potential in the region and to mitigate possible impacts from development by providing an additional private land base for local traditional activities.
Aaron Schutt, President and CEO of Doyon, Limited said, “Doyon has been actively exploring for oil and gas resources in our region for over a decade. We’ve barely scratched the surface. We are pleased to sign this agreement allowing Hilcorp to explore further and we look forward to seeing results from their activities.”
David Wilkins, Senior Vice President, Hilcorp Alaska said, “Our partnership with Doyon represents great opportunity for their shareholders and the State. We have worked successfully with Doyon over the years both in the Cook Inlet and on the Slope. This agreement opens the door to continue that relationship in the interior as well.”
The agreement is designed to provide maximum participation from the village corporation to provide economic benefits to the area. Doyon has also signed a cooperation agreement with Tihteet Aii, Village Corporation for Birch Creek regarding a joint pursuit of service contracts, and shareholder training and hire.
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