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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh


Federal Progress

10-1-15 Comment TODAY On Hilcorp's Liberty Prospect Plan

01 October 2015 7:41am

BOEM Seeks Public Comment on Hilcorp's Liberty Prospect Development and Production Plan

NGP Readers, please comment on Hilcorp’s Liberty DPP.  The DPP can be viewed at: http://www.boem.gov/Hilcorp-Liberty/.​  -dh

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announcement:

A Development and Production Plan (DPP) received from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC (Hilcorp) relating to oil and gas development on the Liberty Prospect was deemed “submitted,” – or deemed complete to move forward in the government’s review process – initiating a 60-day period for the public to review and comment on the DPP.

This announcement does not mean that the DPP has been or will ultimately be approved; it merely denotes that BOEM has conducted a preliminary assessment and determined that Hilcorp has submitted the information required under regulations for a Development and Production Plan to move forward in the regulatory process. This area covers two leases that were issued in 1991 and 1996 under previous Administrations.

A DPP describes development and production activities proposed by an operator for a lease or group of leases. The description includes the timing of these activities, information concerning drilling methods, the location of each proposed well or production platform or other structure, and an analysis of both offshore and onshore impacts that may occur as a result of the plan's implementation.

“BOEM will conduct a rigorous evaluation of this DPP, recognizing the significant environmental, social and ecological resources in the region and honoring our responsibility to protect this critical ecosystem, our Arctic communities, and the subsistence needs and cultural traditions of Alaska Natives,” said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper. “ Any activity proposed offshore Alaska is scrutinized using the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards.”

Hilcorp proposes building a gravel island in approximately 19 feet of water to support a work surface of about 9.3 acres for the drilling facility at the Liberty Prospect, a site that has been evaluated and explored by industry beginning more than thirty years ago. The proposed facility would be similar to the company’s Northstar Production Facility, which has been in operation since October 2001, and which is located in state waters about 40 feet deep and about 31 miles to the northwest of the proposed Liberty Island location. The Northstar facility has a work area of about six acres. The proposed facility would be built on a man-made gravel island in federal waters about five miles off Alaska’s Beaufort Sea coast to develop hydrocarbon resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.

Gravel islands similar to the one proposed have been built in State of Alaska waters to support other production facilities at the Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq fields in the Beaufort Sea.

BOEM will begin its comprehensive review of the DPP by accepting and reviewing public comments through Regulations.gov, the federal government’s official rulemaking portal.

As part of its regulatory program, BOEM will issue a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on September 25, 2015. This EIS will analyze the DPP’s potential environmental effects, and will provide opportunity for public comment. It is anticipated that the environmental analysis of the DPP will take several years and will be closely coordinated with numerous federal and state agencies and consultations with appropriate federally recognized tribes. BOEM will not make a decision to approve, disapprove, or require modifications to the DPP until after the completion of the EIS.

To comment, or to review comments, go to www.regulations.gov and enter “BOEM Liberty” in the search field or BOEM-2015-0096. Comments must be received by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on the date indicated in the regulation.gov announcement.”

Hilcorp’s Liberty DPP can be viewed at: http://www.boem.gov/Hilcorp-Liberty/.

The agency ends its announcement with this statement:

"The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources."  




9-7-15 BLM Cleanup Progress: Thanks to an Alaska Senator and Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

07 September 2015 7:23pm

BLM completes Cape Simpson cleanup work - 09/06/2015 (Login to read Full story) The federal Bureau of Land Management said Sept. 1 that it has completed cleanup of Cape Simpson legacy well sites in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. BLM said it facilitated removal of surface debris through an inter-agency agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps contracte....

Read the 'rest of the story', beginning in 2012 and long before....  -dh


9-1-15 President Obama Visits Alaska

01 September 2015 5:27am

See a broad array of Presidental visit news and feature items in today's (9-1-15) Alaska Dispatch News

Alice Rogoff, Anchorage Dispatch, President Obama, dinner, fund raiser, Alaska oil and gas, climate change, China, Oil prices, stock market, photo by Dave HarbourComment: President Barack Obama dined last night at the Anchorage home of Alaska Dispatch Publisher Alice Rogoff (NGP Photo).  We hope that in addition to climate change issues, Alaska's major publisher was able to also discuss other matters. 

Read other national and international news accounts of President Obama's Alaska visit, here.  

We provided additional links, yesterday, here.

Alaska's dependence and constitutional reliance on natural resources largely rest upon Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) sustainability.  This is because 90% of the state operating budget and over a third of Alaska's economy are based on oil revenue.

TAPS' sustainability, the President should know, depends in large measure on federal policies affecting the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (1002 area); oil and gas lease sales; energy project permitting, regulation and conditions.  

Rogoff, a well known organizer of Arctic forums would also be in a good position to emphasize the importance of protecting US jurisdiction in the Arctic.  Guarding American interests is particularly important as Russia becomes more and more provocative in staking out high value oil and gas resources in the Arctic, building infrastructure and increasing its military presence.  

We have noted Canada's diligence in caring for its Arctic domain.  The United States, Canada's NORAD partner, should be doing the same.    -dh


7-30-15 Murkowski's Senate Energy Committee Votes to Lift Crude Export Ban and Allow State OCS Revenue Sharing

30 July 2015 6:02pm

Overnight Energy & Environment


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed major bills Thursday on lifting the crude oil export ban and its broad energy package.

The oil export bill would also increase offshore drilling and provide revenue sharing for neighboring states. It passed 12-10, along party lines.

"It's the result of collaborative efforts by members of this committee to boost offshore development, allow revenue sharing for coastal producing states and lift the outdated ban on crude exports," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairwoman of the panel, said of the export and offshore drilling measure.



27 July 2015 5:18am

Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, Shell, BSEE, Burger prospect, Chukchi Sea, Photo by Dave HarbourPetroleum News by Alan Bailey (NGP Photo).  On July 22 the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued permits allowing Shell to drill the top hole sections of two wells in the Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea. Shell now has all of the permits that it needs to start drilling.  However, BSEE is prohibiting Shell from drilling into hydrocarbon bearing zones until....



23 July 2015 9:44am

Senator Lisa Murkowski by Dave HarbourU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), yesterday issued the following response to the Interior Department’s approval of two conditional permits to Shell to resume its exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea:

“Today’s approval by the Department of Interior of the permits Shell needs to resume drilling in the Chukchi Sea is good news for Alaska and our country. However, it is not the final regulatory hurdle Shell faces and it is important that the agencies continue to work in good faith and in a timely fashion to complete the remaining regulatory requirements.

“With an estimated 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources and active exploration by countries like Russia, it’s critical that the United States set the standard for responsible development in the Arctic. America will only truly assume that role when it actively engages in developing its resources.

“My attention remains focused on ensuring exploration proceeds safely this season and that Alaskans benefit from the development of our resources through revenue sharing.”

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