October 07, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 103October 2002

Demo ice road section proposed

ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. has applied for a land use permit to conduct an ice road demonstration project on the Alpine ice road this winter season.

The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Land, Water and Minerals, said it has allowed ice road construction on the North Slope for the last 30 years when there is six inches of snow on the ground and the ground is hard frozen to a depth of 12 inches.

The division said ConocoPhillips is proposing a different method: when the tundra is frozen hard enough to support more than 150 pounds per square inch ground loading.

The company is proposing a one to two mile ice road test of the 150 psi method, which will use a plate indentation test.

The remainder of the ice road to Alpine will later be constructed after DNR determines that that ground is hard frozen to a depth of 12 inches. The following summer the two ice road sections will be compared to determine if the earlier construction resulted in increased disturbance to tundra resources.

Sale dates changed

The date of the state's North Slope and Beaufort Sea areawide sales has been changed from Oct. 23 (Wednesday) to Oct. 24 (Thursday). The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, said bid acceptance has been changed to Oct. 22 (Tuesday). The division said all references to Oct. 21 in bidders instructions should now be read as Oct. 22; all references to Oct. 23 should now be read as Oct. 24 and all references to Oct. 24 should now be read as Oct. 25.

Locations and times in instructions to bidders and previous sale announcements remain the same.

In a supplemental notice issued Sept. 24 the division also said the tracts 917, 918, 921, 924 and 927 will remain in the North Slope areawide sale. The state and Arctic Slope Regional Corp. jointly own all of the subsurface interests in the tracts and have agreed to joint, undivided ownership of leasable subsurface of certain lands near the village of Nuiqsut.

These five tracts are also subject to a 1997 consent agreement between ASRC and the Kuukpik Corp. (Nuiqsut village). In the 1997 agreement Kuukpik consented to oil and gas exploration and developments activities on these tracts. But, the division said, "potential lessees are advised that they will be required to enter into a surface use agreement with Kuukpik before undertaking exploration and development activities with respect to these tracts."

The division said that if potential lessees do not negotiate surface use agreements with Kuukpik before the division awards leases under the North Slope areawide 2002 lease sale, the potential lessee may withdraw its bid, and under those circumstances the division will refund the bid deposit to the potential lessee.

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