January 12, 2004 --- Vol. 10, No. 2January 2004

BLM releases draft study for Alpine satellite development

Federal and state agencies are looking at five alternatives for Alpine satellite development, and have also studied the potential for an expanded development in the area of the North Slope beginning at the Alpine field and moving west into areas of new discoveries in the northeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The Bureau of Land Management has released the draft environmental impact statement for ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Alpine satellite development proposal. The agency said today that paper and CD copies of the document can be obtained from the BLM Alaska State Office Public Information Room, 222 W. 7th Ave., Anchorage, and at the BLM Northern Field Office Public Room, 1150 University Ave., Fairbanks. The plan will be available beginning Jan. 16 at

The public comment period ends March 1 and BLM will schedule public meetings on the draft EIS in February in Nuiqsut, Barrow, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Anaktuvuk Pass and Atqasuk.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska proposal is for five new production well pads near the Colville River and associated transportation systems necessary to connect the pads to the Alpine processing facilities. BLM said the draft EIS also analyzes three other alternatives and a no action alternative.

“The alternatives we chose address specific concerns raised during the scoping period and through our consultations with tribal governments and North Slope governing bodies,” said BLM Alaska State Director Henri Bisson.

BLM did not specify a preferred alternative.

The alternatives include: the applicant’s proposed action; an alternative in conformance with stipulations of the record of decision for the Northeast NPR-A and the NE NPR-A EIS; alternative access routes — alternative road routes and bridge locations including a road connection to Nuiqsut and higher pipelines; a roadless development; and a no-action alternative.

The agency said the document also includes a full field development analysis for the 890,000 acre project area representing hypothetical scenarios that could occur during the next 20 years. BLM said this development would be phased, with the first commercial production from new pads in the Colville Delta in 2006. The first commercial production from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska could occur in 2008.

Alpine has been in production since November 2000 and there are two pads in production at the field. Discoveries have been announced north of the Alpine field at Fiord, south of the field at Nanuq and west of the field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The five new pads proposed include activity on state and federal lands both in the existing Colville River unit and to the west of the unit.

The draft EIS was prepared by BLM in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard and the state of Alaska.

Note: See full story in the Jan. 18 issue of Petroleum News.

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