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May 20, 2013 --- Vol. 19, No. 35May 2013

Governor proposes seismic, drilling in ANWR 1002

Gov. Sean Parnell has proposed that the state contribute $50 million to a seven-year 3-D seismic and exploration drilling program in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In a May 18 letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Parnell said the state had completed an oil and gas resource evaluation and exploration proposal for 3-D and exploration drilling in the 1002 area, and asked that the proposal be included in the ANWR comprehensive conservation plan being updated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Parnell also pledged to request up to $50 million from the Alaska Legislature next year to help fund the 3-D seismic program, and recommended that the program be conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in conjunction with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

Parnell and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan rolled out the proposal at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., earlier today.

“The federal government cannot legitimately evaluate impacts unless it knows the breadth of the oil and gas resources it stands to recover for Americans’ benefit,” Parnell said.

“The key question is, why would we not want to have an accurate, up-to-date data assessment of these energy resources,” Sullivan said, adding that the state believes such as assessment “is required by law.”

North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower and Rex Rock Sr., president and CEO of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., spoke at the chamber event in favor of the proposal.

—Kristen Nelson

See story in May 26 issue, available to subscribers online at 11 a.m., Friday, May 24, at www.PetroleumNews.com

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