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Pass for gas? Company seeks permit to access drill site in refuge

Posted: Friday, October 08, 2010

Public comments are being sought on a proposed natural gas drilling operation for this winter in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The project would include the construction of a 1.5 mile temporary ice road starting at Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski that would lead to a temporary drill pad within the refuge to access subsurface in holdings owned by Cook Inlet Region Inc.

Nordaq Energy, Inc., a small independent Anchorage-based company, through lease agreements with CIRI, is required to obtain a special use permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for what's been dubbed the Shadura No. 1 Exploration Project.

A layout of the project's timetable pegs construction of the ice road to begin in late December, drilling to begin in early February and demobilization and restoration to begin in mid- to late-March.

The plan calls for the plugging and abandonment of the well, or its suspension.

An alternative 6.6-mile east access route leading from the Swanson River Oil and Gas Field north of Sterling has also been proposed.

Hard copies of the environmental assessment can be obtained from the refuge headquarters, located on Ski Hill Road outside of Soldotna, or online at the refuge's web site under the newsroom link: www.kenai.fws.gov.

Comments must be postmarked no later than Oct. 30 and should be mailed to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Attention: Oil & Gas Liaison, P.O. Box 2139, Soldotna, AK 99669. Additionally, comments can be faxed to 262-3599 or e-mailed to kenai@fws.gov by Oct. 30.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com



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