The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division said April 12 that it is “carefully reviewing the request for appeal from ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. for the Colville River Delta (CD-5) project in Alaska.”
The corps said the request for appeal was submitted April 2 and said the Pacific Ocean Division commander has initiated a review of the Alaska District’s denial of the permit application.
“We received the request for appeal and are moving deliberately to conduct a thorough review of the information provided,” Brig. Gen. Mark Yenter, the commanding general and Pacific Ocean Division engineer, said in a statement. “We are looking at the appeal in accordance with regulations covering the appeals process,” Yenter said.
The corps’ Alaska District denied the ConocoPhillips’ permit application to construct the CD-5 drill pad west of the Colville River Delta on Feb. 5. The corps’ Alaska District said it determined there are other practicable alternatives that would have a less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem and still meet the overall project purpose.
When the corps denied the permit it acknowledged local and state support for the project, which would see the first development of oil and gas resources within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, but said overriding national interests drove the denial, specifically concerns about “further impacts to the aquatic resources” in the Colville River Delta, which lies just east of NPR-A.
The ConocoPhillips proposal is for a bridge across the Nigliq Channel of the Colville River which would carry both road traffic and a pipeline taking crude oil to Alpine for processing, combined with a road connecting Nuiqsut to existing Alpine infrastructure.
Two alternatives were identified by the corps: no bridge with a pipeline drilled under the Nigliq Channel using horizontal directional drilling and an airstrip at CD-5; no bridge with a pipeline under the Nigliq Channel with HDD and expanding a road to Nuiqsut on the NPR-A side of the channel with storage and vehicular infrastructure at the Nuiqsut airstrip.