General information

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

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  • Oil and Gas Technical Report – Cover
  • 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
  • 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
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