Parnell wants Alaska to join ConocoPhillips NPR-A permit effort

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) asked that the state be allowed to participate in ConocoPhillips’s administrative appeal of a denied permit in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, May 4 -- Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) asked that the state be allowed to participate in ConocoPhillips’s administrative appeal of a denied permit in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The US Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit in early February, saying other technologies should be considered in developing the CD-5 project west of the company’s producing Alpine field near Prudhoe Bay.

Parnell said the dispute involves ConocoPhillips’ proposal for a vehicle and pipeline bridge across the Colville River’s Nigliq Channel, which the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., the North Slope Borough, the Native Village of Nuiqsut, the City of Nuiqsut, and the state strongly support. The Army Corps of Engineers would rather see horizontal direction drilling used instead.

The parties said this approach also poses risks including pipeline corrosion, sedimentation, and slugging, along with other potential problems associated with a buried pipeline in the geo-technically unique and environmentally sensitive Nigliq Channel. A bridge would have fewer potential adverse environmental consequences, they maintained.

Parnell said that under the Corps’ regulations, the opinions of the state, both as a permitting agency with jurisdiction and as the Nigliq Channel’s property owner, are entitled to deference.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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