David Houseknecht works for the U.S. Geological Survey, and he’s trying to figure out two key questions: How much oil is in the Arctic Refuge, and where is it? The answers could decide ANWR’s fate, no matter how the politics play out.
Denver-based Armstrong Energy is selling off a significant chunk of its stake in the Nanushuk oil play to Oil Search, a company based in Papua New Guinea. Oil Search announced Wednesday that it will take over as operator next June.
BP thinks the accident was caused by thawing permafrost deep below the surface, which put uneven stress on the well. Eventually, the well gave out, rising several feet out of the ground and colliding with the top of the building over the well.
The Bureau of Land Management announced all 900 tracts set aside for leasing will be up for bid. That compares to just 145 tracts offered last year. It’s the largest lease sale ever in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The U.S. Senate voted earlier this evening on a measure that could open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling rigs before the end of the year. It’s far from a done deal. This is just the first stage in a Senate process known as “budget reconciliation.”
Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Gov. Bill Walker’s administration has taken steps recently toward a climate change action plan. Just this week, Mallott was in Nome for Kawerak’s Leadership Summit, but also, he says, to discuss Arctic policy.