Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
February 2019

Vol. 24, No. 5 Week of February 03, 2019

DNR issues proposed Donlin ROW decision

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has issued a commissioner’s analysis and proposed decision for a right-of-way lease for the Donlin Pipeline, part of a number of actions released Jan. 28-29 for the proposed Donlin open-pit gold mine in southwest Alaska.

The right-of-way application was submitted in April 2014.

Donlin Gold LLC is a limited liability company owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold US Inc. and NovaGold Resources Alaska Inc.

The project consists of a mine site, transportation infrastructure and the proposed 315-mile Donlin Pipeline, which would originate near Beluga on the west side of Cook Inlet and terminate at the proposed Donlin Gold mine site 10 miles north of Crooked Creek.

The line would carry natural gas at a maximum operating pressure of 1,480 pounds per square inch gauge and would be able to transport 73 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas for use at the mine.

The operating pipeline right-of-way lease would include one compressor station and one metering station.

The analysis and proposed decision said some 207 miles of the mostly buried pipeline would be on state lands, with the remainder on federal and Native lands. The requested construction right of way would be 150 feet wide and would decrease to an operating width of 50 feet.

The pipeline is proposed as a contract carrier pipeline, open for use by other entities but with specific volumes contracted at specific prices through an open season process. The pipeline would be subject to oversight by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

The analysis finds Donlin to be “fit, willing, and able to operate the pipeline in the manner required” by Alaska statutes.

Public comments are invited.

DNR said it will hold public hearings on the Donlin Pipeline decision and the public may provide testimony during the hearing or submit written comments.

The hearing schedule is:

Feb. 27, McGrath Community Center, 4-6 p.m.;

Feb. 28, Tyonek Tribal Center, 1-2 p.m.;

March 4, Bethel Cultural Center, 6-8 p.m.;

March 6, Aniak Community Center, 7-9 p.m.;

March 12, Atwood Conference Center (Anchorage), 5:30-7:30 p.m.; and

March 13, Skwentna Roadhouse, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

DNR said it is proposing to close the lands within the proposed ROW, plus 100 feet on either side, through Mineral Order 1212 for the protection of the pipeline. The mineral order would take effect upon issuance of the ROW lease and end upon expiration or termination of the lease.

The ROW lease order would potentially affect up to 14,706 acres of state-owned lands, reducing to roughly 6,250 acres after construction.

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