DOE, Alaska DNR to study Arctic unconventional energy resources

The US Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Office and Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources agreed to work together along with potential investors to study unconventional energy resources in Alaska’s Arctic.

Christopher Smith, DOE acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, and Alaska DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the effort Apr. 16 in Houston during the LNG 17 conference.

DNR said in signing the MOU, it commits to helping DOE with its ongoing assessment of unconventional energy resources and DOE’s field evaluation of potential unconventional energy production technologies on the North Slope.

This includes facilitating access to state lands and assisting with permitting and logistical issues, as well as providing expert review and interpretation of scientific data and reports by scientists in the state’s oil and gas division and its geological and geophysical survey, the Alaska agency said.

It said that DOE, through its National Energy Technology Laboratories, will have the lead role in developing research and development projects and providing scientific oversight of the field studies. In the agreement, DOE commits to sharing the available technical data with the State of Alaska, DNR indicated.

“Alaska DNR and DOE/FEO may also endeavor together to highlight the potential of all of Alaska’s natural resources, including conventional resources such as natural gas, and unconventional resources such as gas hydrates and viscous oil, as important supply sources to meet domestic energy demands and to ensure domestic economic and energy security,” the agreement said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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