BP begins permitting Liberty development from Endicott
Originally BP planned to develop its Beaufort Sea Liberty prospect as a Northstar look-a-like, requiring an offshore island. In 2005 the company began talking publicly about a revised plan to develop Liberty with extended reach drilling from shore, with wells reaching from four and a half to as far as eight miles.
Earlier this year BP said it would develop from Liberty from existing facilities at Endicott, eight miles to the west.
The first of the applications for the revised project are out for review.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has posted BP Exploration (Alaska)’s request for expansion of the existing Endicott secondary drilling island by approximately 20 acres of fill in marine waters and approximately 18 acres of fill associated with a gravel mine site adjacent to the existing Duck Island mine side and approximately 0.3 acre of impact for a boat launch at the Endicott main production island. The Corps said placement of any potential fill associated with a new bridge across the West Channel of the Sagavanirktok River will be reviewed as a modification under an existing Corps permit or under a Corps nationwide permit.
The existing Endicott SDI is almost square; the expansion would create an L-shaped island. The proposed Sag River bridge would replace an existing bridge between Deadhorse and Endicott
The agency said the development plan was available on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Web site and on the U.S. Minerals Management Service Alaska OCS region Web site, but the items had not been posted as of noon today.
The Corps said the Liberty development plan is a considerable modification of a 2002 proposal, which included a 23-acre island and 6.1 miles of buried pipeline and a new gravel mine site. A new National Environmental Policy Act analysis will be completed for the new project and the Corps said BP has prepared an environmental impact assessment to provide agencies with information for review.
DNR closes upper foothills tundra travel
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has closed the upper foothills area for tundra travel as from 12:00 p.m. on Thursday May 10.
“Snow pack in the Upper Foothills Tundra Opening Area has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer adequate for general off-road travel,” DNR said.
All off-road travel currently in progress must be completed by 12:00 p.m. on Sunday May 13. However, because the weather remains cool and snow cover may be adequate for travel in some areas, DNR will consider allowing travel extensions on a case-by-case basis. Extensions require approval from the Division of Mining, Land and Water.
All state tundra travel areas are now closed for the season.