Officials Holding Public Hearings On OCS Leasing Schedule

Thursday in Fairbanks and Friday in Anchorage federal officials are having public hearings about the latest five-year schedule for leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf, including both the Beaufort and Chukchi lease areas. Last night the Army Corps of Engineers took  public comment on a draft environmental impact statement for Exxon Mobil’s proposed development of oil and gas on-shore at Pt. Thompson, bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The company proposes pumping natural gas liquids through a 23-mile pipeline to the existing Badami pipeline.  Army Corps Pointmpson project manager Hank Baij says there are four development alternatives in the draft EIS, including Exxon Mobil’s preferred plan.

All proposed development options involve wells, pipelines and gravel pads, but the size and distance of facilities from the coast, varies, and some favor seasonal ice, over gravel roads.

Pt. Thompson is presumed to hold oil as well as gas.  21 exploratory wells have been drilled in the field.  Exxon Mobil and the state have not released information on the area’s oil potential, but the company estimates pumping 10,000 barrels a day of gas condensate from Pt. Thompson.  Dry gas would be re-injected until there’s a way to export it.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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