Two 1960s-Era Oil Wells to be Restored

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Restoration work is planned for two of the oldest oil wells on the North Slope.  State Department of Natural Resources Northern region oil and gas team manager Gary Schultz says Conoco Philips’ Nora and Lisa exploration wells, drilled in the Foothills area of the North Slope back in the late 1960’s, are scheduled for reclamation work this winter.

The reserve pits contain petroleum based drilling muds, and Schultz says capping them traps the mud between the surface and the frozen soil underneath.

Schultz says the project is happening now because the 40-year-old wells have posed minimal environmental threat.  He says many other higher priority wells have already been restored.  State law and the BP Arco merger charter agreement line out well restoration requirements. An ice road off the Dalton Highway will be used to access the well sites.

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