The Minerals Management Service said Jan. 10 that the draft environmental impact statement is available for BP's proposed Beaufort Sea Liberty project.
The DEIS evaluates the BP Exploration (Alaska) development and production plan for the Liberty project submitted to MMS in February 1998 and the oil spill contingency plan.
Comments on the DEIS will be accepted by MMS through March 13.
Public hearings will be held on the North Slope, in Fairbanks and in Anchorage in mid-to-late February. Written comments will be accepted by MMS throughout the comment period.
MMS is also taking comments on the development and production plan and associated oil spill contingency plan.
"BPXA proposes to develop Liberty from a gravel island located in the Beaufort Sea 20 miles east of Prudhoe Bay and about eight miles east of its Endicott development," said MMS Regional Director John Goll. "The draft EIS analyzes BP's proposed development and production plan and a variety of alternatives, such as pipeline and island design and location, pipeline routing and potential gravel sources.
"We have included a good deal of technical information beyond what is normal for an EIS. We hope the public will review the documents and give us comments on the proposal either in writing or at one of the public hearings we will hold around the state," Goll said.
BP has estimated that Liberty contains 120 million barrels of recoverable oil. If approved, construction for the project would occur during two winter seasons beginning with the island in 2003 and the pipeline in 2004. First production would occur in late 2004.
The state of Alaska will receive 27 percent of any federal royalties from Liberty production.
The DEIS is available on the Internet at www.mms.gov/alaska, on CD-ROM and in paper.