Federal Permit Granted for Alaskan Pipeline Project

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A company seeking to develop a large oil project on Alaska’s North Slope has won a key federal permit.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported that Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search announced that it had received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Pikka development, which is planned west of Prudhoe Bay.

Oil Search has proposed building up to three drill sites, about 25 miles of roads and about 35 miles of pipelines, a central processing facility, two bridges and an operations center with beds for 200 workers.

The permit is one of many the project will need to advance. The company also needs dozens of state and local permits.

Its project is in an area seen as a new hot spot for oil activity on the western North Slope, with ConocoPhillips also pursuing projects in the region. State analysts say the project has potential to contribute significantly to future Alaska production. Oil Search estimates the project could produce about 120,000 bpd.

So far this year, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system, which was designed to move oil from the North Slope to a port in Valdez, has been averaging 515,000 bpd. At its peak, TAP transported 2.1 MMbpd.

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