This study was produced in part with National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska funds made available through the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.Oil 

Oil and Gas Technical Report - Cover

Mayor's Message

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

1.1 Purpose of this Report 1
1.2 Project History and Methodology 3
1.3 Public Involvement 4
1.4 North Slope Borough Management Authorities and Responsibilities 6
1.5 Applicability and Scope of the Technical Report 7
1.6 How to Use this Report 7

Chapter 2: Background 9

2.1 Overview of the NPR-A 9
2.1.1 Human Environment 10
2.1.1.1 Settlement 10
2.1.1.2 Historic Use of the NPR-A and Adjacent Area 11
2.1.1.3 Current Use of NPR-A by Residents of the North Slope Borough 11
2.1.2 Natural Environment 13
2.1.2.1 Geography and Geology 13
2.1.2.2 Fish and Wildlife Resources 15
2.1.2.3 Plants 18
2.1.2.4 Climate 19
2.1.3 NPR-A Oil and Gas History 21
2.1.3.1 Early History – 1900 - 1930 21
2.1.3.2 Mid-20th Century Activity 22
2.1.3.3 1974 – 1982 Period 22
2.1.3.4 Period 1982 - Present 24
2.1.4 BLM Management Authority for NPR-A 26
2.1.4.1 BLM Planning Documents 28
2.2 Management Issues 29
2.2.1 Sites Needing Cleanup and Rehabilitation 31
2.2.1.1 Legacy Well Clean Up Program 31
2.2.1.2 Other Contaminated Sites 33
2.2.2 Federal Responsibilities under the Barrow Gas Field Transfer Act of 1984 33
2.3 Oil and Gas Regulation 34
2.3.1 Overview 34
2.3.2 Federal Agencies 35
2.3.2.1 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 35
2.3.2.2 Other Federal Agencies 36
2.3.3 State of Alaska Agencies 37
2.3.3.1 Alaska Department of Natural Resources 37
2.3.3.2 Other State Agencies 38
2.3.4 North Slope Borough 39

Chapter 3: Oil and Gas Resource Base in the NSB 41

3.1 Introduction 41
3.2 Existing Development 44
3.2.2 Existing North Slope Infrastructure 49
3.2.2.1 Airports and Landing Strips 49
3.2.2.2 Permanent Industrial Roads 52
3.2.2.3 Available Staging Areas 53
3.2.2.4 Major Production Facilities 55
3.2.2.5 Pipelines 55
3.2.2.6 Gravel Islands 57
3.3 Imminent Development and Evaluation Activity 58
3.3.1 Mustang Project (Southern Miluveach Unit) 59
3.3.2 Kuparuk DS-2S (Sharktooth) 59
3.3.3 Alpine CD-5 59
3.3.4 Nuna Discovery (Oooguruk Field) 59
3.3.5 Point Thomson Project 60
3.3.6 Tofkat Discovery (Tofkat Unit) 60
3.3.7 Umiat Prospect 61
3.3.8 Mooses Tooth Unit (MTU) 61
3.3.9 New Fairway Unit-To Be Named 63
3.3.10 Fiord West 63
3.3.11 Kachemach Unit 64
3.3.12 Bear Tooth Unit 64
3.3.13 Liberty Development Project 64
3.4 Known Undeveloped Resources – NPR-A 65
3.5 Known Undeveloped Resources - Outside NPR-A 65
3.5.1 Point Thomson Satellites 66
3.5.2 Beechey Point Unit 67
3.5.3 Placer Unit 67
3.5.4 Qugruk Unit 67
3.5.5 Hammerhead 67
3.5.6 Kuvlum 68
3.5.7 Sandpiper 68
3.6 Unconventional Oil and Gas 69
3.7 Prospective Resource Development 70
3.7.1 Northwest NPR-A 70
3.7.2 Offshore State Waters adjacent to NPR-A 71
3.7.2.1 Harrison Bay 71
3.7.2.2 Smith Bay 71
3.7.3 Offshore – Federal OCS Waters 71
3.7.3.1 Chukchi Sea - Federal OCS Waters 72
3.7.3.2 Beaufort Sea – Federal OCS Waters 73

Chapter 4: Major Issues Related to Oil and Gas Activities 75

4.1 Introduction 75
4.2 Communication and Coordination 76
4.2.1 Overview of Issues Related to Communication and Coordination 76
4.2.1.1 Incorporation of Local and Traditional Knowledge 78
4.2.1.2 Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) 79
4.2.2 Agency Measures to Promote Communication and Coordination 80
4.2.2.1 Federal Measures to Promote Communication and Coordination 80
4.2.2.2 State of Alaska Measures to Promote Communication and Coordination 82
4.2.2.3 NSB Measures to Promote Communication and Coordination 84
4.2.3 Conclusions Related to Communication and Coordination 85
4.3 Tundra Travel 86
4.3.1 Overview of Issues Related to Tundra Travel 86
4.3.1.1 Impacts to Subsistence Use 86
4.3.1.2 Impacts to Wildlife 87
4.3.1.3 Impacts to Habitat 87
4.3.1.4 Social Impacts 88
4.3.1.5 Impacts to Industry 89
4.3.2 Background 89
4.3.2.1 Types of Tundra Travel 89
4.3.2.2 Evolution of Tundra Travel Criteria 90
4.3.3 Regulation of Tundra Travel and Mitigation Measures 95
4.3.3.1 State of Alaska Regulation of Tundra Travel 95
4.3.3.2 BLM Mitigation Measures for Tundra Travel 98
4.3.3.3 NSB Mitigation Measures for Tundra Travel 99
4.3.4 Conclusions Related to Tundra Travel 101
4.4 Roads 102
4.4.1 Overview of Issues Related to Roads 103
4.4.2 Dalton Highway 105
4.4.3 Proposed New Roads 106
4.4.4 Mitigation of Road Impacts 108
4.4.4.1 BLM Measures to Address Road Impacts 108
4.4.4.2 State of Alaska Measures to Address Road Impacts 110
4.4.4.3 NSB Measures to Address Road Impacts 111
4.4.5 Conclusions Related to Roads 112
4.5 Pipelines 113
4.5.1 Overview of Issues Related to Pipelines 113
4.5.2 Background 114
4.5.2.1 Potential New Pipelines in or near the NPR-A 116
4.5.3 Mitigation of Pipeline-Related Impacts 117
4.5.3.1 Scientific Basis for Mitigation 117
4.5.3.2 Mitigation of Pipeline Impacts by BLM 118
4.5.3.3 Mitigation of Pipeline Impacts by State of Alaska 119
4.5.3.4 Mitigation of Pipeline Impacts by NSB 120
4.5.4 Conclusions Related to Pipelines 121
4.6 Gravel Islands 122
4.6.1 Background Related to Gravel Islands 123
4.6.2 Overview of Issues Related to Gravel Islands 124
4.6.3 Mitigation of Impacts Related to Gravel Islands 124
4.6.4 Conclusions Related to Gravel Islands 125
4.7 Air Traffic 126
4.7.1 Overview of Issues Related to Air Traffic 126
4.7.2 Background 127
4.7.3 Mitigation of Impacts Related to Air Traffic 129
4.7.3.1 FAA Standards 129
4.7.3.2 BLM Standards 130
4.7.3.3 State of Alaska Standards 131
4.7.3.4 North Slope Borough Mitigation Measures 132
4.7.4 Conclusions 133
4.8 Dismantlement, Removal and Restoration 133
4.8.1 Overview of Issues 134
4.8.1.1 Timing of DR&R 134
4.8.1.2 Unclear Expectations 135
4.8.1.3 Lack of a Clear Process 136
4.8.1.4 Financial Responsibility 137
4.8.2 DR&R Experience on the North Slope 137
4.8.3 Mitigation of Impacts Related to DR&R 141
4.8.3.1 State of Alaska DR&R Requirements 141
4.8.3.2 Federal Agencies Responsible for DR&R in Alaska 144
4.8.3.3 North Slope Borough Regulation of DR&R 147
4.8.3.4 Native Corporation Authority for DR&R 149
4.8.3.5 Other States 149
4.8.4 Conclusions for DR&R 149

Chapter 5: Recommendations 151

5.1 Introduction 151
5.2 General Recommendations 152
5.2.1 Interagency Coordination 152
5.2.2 Update Title 19 153
5.3 Recommendations for Communication and Coordination 153
5.4 Recommendations for Tundra Travel 155
5.5 Recommendations for Roads 157
5.6 Recommendations for Pipelines 157
5.7 Recommendations for Gravel Islands 158
5.8 Recommendations for Air Traffic 158
5.9 Recommendations for Dismantlement, Removal & Restoration (DR&R) 158

Chapter 6: Way Forward 161

6.1 Implementation 161
6.2 Issues Outside of the Scope of this Report 162
6.3 Conclusion 164
References 165

Appendices
Appendix A: Summaries of Public Meetings
Appendix B: Issues and Recommendations Raised by the NPR-A Subsistence Advisory Panel
Appendix C: Subsistence Uses in the NPR-A by Village
Appendix D: Federal, State and Local Approvals for Oil and Gas Activities
Appendix E: Cumulative Oil Production on the North Slope
Appendix F: Map of Units with Ownership Interests
Appendix G: North Slope Borough Standard Permit Stipulations