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President Obama’s Department of the Interior has issued a conservation plan to protect the giant US Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. The plan makes no mention as to potential oil and gas development in the region, and this has upset the Alaskan government.
Seeking to nudge the federal government into considering the possibility of drilling in the nature reserve Alaska’s government has decided to invest its own cash in an assessment of the potential oil and gas reserves in the area.
The administration of the Republican Governor of Alaska, Sean Parnell, has said that it wants the federal government to just consider studying the hydrocarbon reserves in the refuge. Obviously hoping to tempt them with what they hope will be vast deposits of oil and gas; estimates made 30 years ago suggest a volume of around 10.4 billion barrels of oil.
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Members of the administration have made a trip to Washington to present their proposal to Congress, and Governor Parnell wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell outlining a $150 million plan.
Daniel Sullivan, the states commissioner for natural resources, explained that “when we’ve had this discussion with the federal government, there is a head in the sand -- or head in the tundra -- kind of response. The frustration is: Why wouldn’t you want to know!?”
The proposed study will assess a part of the reserve known as Area 1002, which covers 3,000 square miles, less than a tenth of the size of the entire reserve.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com