The state won 10-year oil leases for nine pieces of land by submitting the minimum offer: $25 an acre. But drilling for oil in the refuge is expensive, and it faces an aggressive opposition campaign.
It’s a controversial move, and a way for the state to secure drilling rights in the coastal plain in case no one else bids on the leases.
Long before it announced its withdrawal from AFN, there were signs of a schism between ASRC and the most influential Native advocacy group.
The company hopes to construct a new oil processing facility, up to five drill sites, about 40 miles of permanent roads, a gravel mine and hundreds of miles of pipelines and seasonal ice roads.