Contracting Issues Delay Cleanup Work At Reserve

A U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman says contracting issues have delayed the start of cleanup work around abandoned wells in the Alaska Arctic.

Download Audio

A draft plan prioritizing the remediation of so-called legacy wells sites in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska had called for surface cleanup to begin at sites around Barrow this year. But BLM-Alaska spokeswoman Erin Curtis says that work now will likely begin next summer.

She says BLM has the money to complete that initial work. She says continued cleanup work, and the timeline for completion, will depend on future funding.

BLM manages the reserve, where more than 130 wells were drilled under the federal government’s direction as part of an exploratory oil and gas program from the 1940s to the 1980s. BLM manages the reserve.