Alaska News Nightly: August 28, 2012

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Statoil Moves Closer To Exploratory Chukchi Drilling

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

Statoil is inching closer to exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, although the company says not before 2015.

A delegation from the Norwegian oil company held a public meeting in Nome Monday night. Operating on 16 leases acquired in a 2008 sale—and partnering with ConocoPhillips on another 50 leases—the company’s potential drill sites sit about 150 miles northwest of Barrow.

Doyon Has Ambitious Interior Oil, Gas Exploration Plans

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Doyon Native Corporation has ambitious Interior Alaska oil and gas exploration plans – seismic work in the Yukon Flats and drilling in the Nenana Basin, both this winter.

Gas is Transferring To Cook Inlet Storage

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Anchorage and Southcentral residents Tuesday were promised they will have enough natural gas on hand to make it through the winter.

Buccaneer Energy Drill Rig Enters Kachemak Bay

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

Residents of Homer have had a few days to get used to an unusual sight on Kachemak Bay – the presence of an enormous, 400-foot-tall jack-up drilling rig. The rig belongs to Buccaneer Energy, which plans to put it to use in Cook Inlet in the coming weeks.

Arctic Imperative Summit Addresses Future Bering Strait Activity

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Bering Strait is known as the gateway to the Arctic. Increased global interest in the resources of the region is beginning to attract investment, but access and infrastructure remain the big challenges. Monday at the Arctic Imperative Summit in Girdwood a panel of  Alaska Native leaders discussed their communities’ readiness to  handle increased commercial activity in the Bering Straits region.

Sen. Begich To Introduce Legislation Creating Arctic Port Authority

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchroage

The state of Alaska is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to locate a site for a deep water port.

Alaska Senator Mark Begich says he plans to introduce legislation creating an Arctic Port Authority to facilitate Alaska’s future international shipping needs. Begich made the announcement over the weekend at Arctic Imperative Summit.

Fish & Wildlife Director Hears Sea Otter Concerns

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in Sitka over the weekend to hear concerns about sea otters.

The marine mammals are protected by federal law, but Alaska Natives are allowed to hunt them. Some of them say the regulations on what they can do with otter pelts are confusing, and have led to scrapes with the law.

Meanwhile, commercial fishermen who dive for shellfish in Southeast Alaska say expanding otter populations are wiping out their fisheries.

Grant Funds Battle of Wrangell Research

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Did you know the United States Army and Stikine Tlingits fought a battle in Wrangell almost 150 years ago? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld reports on an effort to find out more about the clash.

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