Last Friday, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) released the draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Liberty Project for public comment. It is an important step in developing a project which will strengthen Alaska’s energy future. The Liberty Project is a partnership between ASRC Exploration LLC (AEX), Hilcorp Alaska and BP. This prospect is a proven reserve of domestic energy, which when developed, will greatly benefit Alaskans and help bolster the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) with additional oil.
Coordination and partnership with the communities across Alaska will ensure that the Liberty Project will be a generator of new jobs and new energy while building upon the success of previous offshore operations. Liberty Partner ASRC believes the project is important to the communities across the North Slope:
“The Liberty Project represents the kind of development that Arctic Slope Regional Corporation has determined is important to our region and through local participation we can ensure that the needs and issues of our communities and shareholders are addressed,” said Richard Glenn, ASRC EVP of Lands and Natural Resources. “As a working interest owner through our wholly owned subsidiary, ASRC Exploration LLC, we will diligently review the DEIS over the next several weeks and provide comments.”
Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior, commented on how the Liberty Project’s EIS contributes to the Department of Interior’s overall energy development strategy:
“Today’s publication of the draft EIS is another important step in the Department’s strategy of responsible resource development and we are committed to working with states, Alaska Native communities, investors and all stakeholders when we analyze development and production plans”
The Liberty Project partners plan to utilize proven technology to construct a gravel island in the Beaufort. Man-made islands have a long history of safe operations in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea. The planning and construction of Liberty Island will utilize the best available technology, incorporate input from the North Slope community, and will be completed by a team of experts including scientists, engineers, environmental specialists and other skilled professionals.
The Liberty Project operator, Hilcorp Alaska, stressed the importance of developing this project right, with input from the communities and in close coordination with the regulators, stating:
“Not only have similar proposals of the Liberty Project been vetted and approved before, but gravel-based energy facilities have a proven record of safe operations, with some in production for over a decade in the Beaufort Sea,” stated Dave Wilkins, Senior Vice President Alaska. “We are eager to work with the communities across the North Slope and our partners throughout the state to develop a project that will greatly benefit Alaska and bring greater domestic energy security to the country.”
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. also strongly supports the diligent oversight and input from the community and regulators, with BP Alaska president Janet Weiss, stating:
“BP believes the Liberty project is important to Alaska’s economic future, and we support it moving forward in a manner that is respectful of the environment and of the local communities and their subsistence way of life.”
Commenting on the news of the EIS release, Arctic Energy Center spokesperson Lucas Frances said:
“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.”
Please visit regulations.gov to submit a comment in support of the Liberty Project.