—Posted by Matt Buxton, staff writer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the final environmental impact study for ExxonMobil Corporations’s gas cycling and condensate production project at Point Thomson on Friday, the last step before the feds can give the project a green light.
The final EIS is the culmination of a three-year review of the multibillion-dollar project that would produce 10,000 barrels of natural condensate, which can include ethane, propane, butane and other valuable resources, a day.
The 500-page report includes a review of everything from water quality to marine life and air quality to recreation.The Corps of Engineers has until the end of August to review the project and file a decision.
The proposed project, which is 22 miles east of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, would include three pads for drilling and production of wells, with a central pad for production facilities. There would also be infield roads, pipelines, an airstrip and a gravel mine site.
The Point Thomson hydrocarbon basin is estimated to contain somewhere in the range of 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, about 300 million barrels of gas condensate liquids and some traditional crude oil.
The project is part of a settlement reached between the state and oil developers over the leases of the resource-rich field. As part of the settlement, the companies have agreed to complete the current 10,000-barrel-a-day project or else they could lose their leases.