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Zinke's order, signed at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association annual conference, directs his agency to develop a revised Integrated Activity Plan for the NPR-A that "strikes an appropriate statutory balance of promoting development while protecting surface resources." It directs the assistant secretaries of Land and Minerals Management and Water and Science to submit a joint plan with an updated assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources of the North Slope.
NPR-A is an Indiana-sized swath of land on the North Slope roughly between Nuiqsut to the east and to the west of Wainwright.
Despite its many treasures, the NPR-A has long played second fiddle to the smaller Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located approximately 100 miles to the east.
La densite d'oiseaux nicheurs dans la TLSA est l'une des plus elevees de la NPR-A, sur le versant nord de l'Alaska et a l'echelle de l'Arctique circumpolaire.
That decision included a green light for a pipeline to be built through the NPR-A to carry oil and gas from the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
NPR-A encompasses the Inupiaq communities of Barrow, Nuiqsut, Atqasuk, and Wainwright.
"Any company that is planning to drill exploratory wells in the Chukchi (and portions of the Beaufort) is likely to be discussing how to get any possible future discoveries of oil and gas through NPR-A," added Lowman.
The sole active explorer in NPR-A this winter is Linc Energy, an Australian independent company that has acquired federal leases at Umiat, in the far southeast of NPR-A.
What is also important about CD-5, however, is that the bridge and road infrastructure to reach the pad will lead to an extended road and pipelines being built farther west in NPR-A as other known oil and gas accumulations are developed.
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