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Video: BOEM publishes EIS for Alaska manmade island

Written by  Friday, 18 August 2017 09:38

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Alaska’s manmade island, the Liberty Project, in the Beaufort Sea. 

Map of Liberty. From Hilcorp.

Houston’s Hilcorp submitted its plan for the self-contained island for drilling operations to BOEM in December 2015.

The Liberty Partners,  Hilcorp Alaska, the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., and BP Alaska, have proposed the development of a gravel island in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea, a region where safe exploration and development dates back to the mid-1970’s.

It’s estimated that the Liberty unit contains approximately 150 MMbbl of recoverable, high-quality crude oil. Hilcorp believes the Liberty oilfield contains one of the largest potential sources of new light oil production on the North Slope. At peak production, the company anticipates an estimated 60,000 b/d from a total of five production wells. 

The partners have built their project upon many years of safe operations and proven technology used in previous Beaufort Sea offshore projects, BOEM says. 

In the development plan, the partners have proposed that the 9.3-acre Liberty Island will be connected to land by a subsea pipeline, then through a newly constructed 1.5mi conventional pipeline that ties into the Badami pipeline, and eventually the trans-Alaska pipeline. The subsea pipeline will be a pipe-in-pipe, with a 12in diameter inner pipe and a 16in diameter outer pipeline similar to other offshore installations. The marine segment will be 5.6mi in length, buried and installed during winter.

It is set to be located 15mi east of Prudhoe Bay in Foggy Island Bay, and will be approximately 6mi offshore, in 19ft water depth. 

The project is similar to the four other artificial islands currently in operation: Spy Island, Northstar Island, Endicott Island, and Oooguruk Island.

BOEM says it has deemed the Liberty Development and Production Plan (DPP) complete in 2015 and today’s draft EIS is an important next step in permitting development. 

“The creation of more jobs and greater tax revenue is a huge win for all Alaskans and the development of Liberty will generate much needed oil for TAPS; an energy lifeline not only important to the state of Alaska, but to America’s energy security,” says Arctic Energy Center spokesperson Lucas Frances. 

The EIS initiates a 90-day public comment submission period.

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Hilcorp aims for Alaska manmade island

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