May 29th, 2013

Is there more oil and gas on our northern Kenai Peninsula? The Cook Inlet Region Corporation would like to find out. C.I.R.C. in the Alaska Native regional corporation for South Central Alaska and they own about 142,000 acres of sub-surface lands south and north of the Twin Cities. They would like to work with Apache Alaska and conduct a major program of 3-D seismic surveying on-land.

Apache has been aggressively searching for as-yet-undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Cook Inlet Basin and believes the acquisition of modern, high-resolution 3-D seismic data is an essential prerequisite to exploration drilling in the basin’s challenging geology.

The only problem once again is the U.S. Federal Government. The surface of the land is controlled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington D.C.. That means that nothing can happen until a special use permit from the Feds is issued to enable Apache Alaska to conduct the surface operations required for the survey. Apache’s permit application triggered an environmental assessment by the U.S. Environmental Policy Act. Eventually that will lead to a decision by Fish and Wildlife about whether the proposed survey would have significant environmental impact. A draft environmental assessment has been issued by the Feds and public comment will end on May 31st.

Apache plans call for survey operations during the winter months of the next two years if the Feds will issue the permits. They have successfully used the survey technique on the west side of Cook Inlet. It minimizes environmental disturbance by eliminating the need to cut “old fashioned” seismic lines through surface vegetation. The seismic crew carries the seismic nodes each about the size of a large food can, into position on snow machines and a back-pack. Then a small drilling unit, slung under a helicopter will be used to drill the 35 foot shallow drill holes which will immediately be filled after the explosive seismic charge is detonated.

One can only hope, along with C.I.R.C and Apache Alaska that the Feds at the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will quickly approve this new modern 3-D seismic survey. With proven insignificant disturbance of surface areas right here in our Kenai Peninsula Borough there appears to by no reason why the Feds should not quickly approve the plan.

Certainly if significant Oil and Gas resources are found and eventual drilling and production take place it would be a significant boost to our economy. That would be good for C.I.R.C…..good for the oil industry and good for the people of the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska.

Think About It!        John Davis    5-29-13

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