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December 12, 2008 --- Vol. 14, No. 114December 2008

Yukon Pacific right-of-way renewal denied

The Department of Natural Resources said late yesterday that Commissioner Tom Irwin has denied a request from Yukon Pacific Corp. to renew a conditional right-of-way lease related to their plan to transport natural gas to Valdez through a proposed pipeline, a project known as the trans-Alaska gas system.

DNR said the original conditional lease was issued 20 years ago in December 1988 to allow Yukon Pacific time to meet statutory requirements.

Irwin signed a decision Dec. 10 concluding that Yukon Pacific did not provide sufficient information to demonstrate substantial progress toward developing project plans or programs required by the conditional lease. The department said Yukon Pacific has not provided specific plans required for protection of public interests.

Yukon Pacific may request reconsideration and may submit additional written materials to address elements identified in the commissionerís decision.

See full story in Dec. 21 issue of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, Dec. 19 at www.PetroleumNews.com

Tundra remains closed for travel

The Department of Natural Resources said today that it has completed an assessment of snow conditions and soil temperatures on the North Slope and all areas remain closed to tundra travel.

Soil temperature has moved below minus 5 degrees Celsius at 11 of the 19 monitoring stations. Snow is very deep this year, the department said, with snow depths above that required for tundra opening at all but one station.

The target of the foothills tundra opening areas is 9 inches of snow and minus 5 degrees C soil temperature at a depth of 30 centimeters. The target for coastal areas is 6 inches of snow and minus 5 degrees C soil temperature at 30 centimeters.

The department said pre-packing ice road routes using summer-approved vehicles has been approved for several projects, allowing soil temperatures to drop to the extent that some projects have been approved to move forward with ice road construction. Pre-packing must be approved by the department.

Department staff will travel to the North Slope Dec. 15 to continue monitoring snow depths.

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