National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPR-A) Planning Area
At nearly 23 million acres (nearly the size of Indiana) the NPR-A, located on Alaska’s North Slope, is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States. The northern portion is dotted with lakes, rivers, and bogs of the Arctic Coastal Plain. To the south, tundra foothills give way to the Brooks Range. Much of the southern NPR-A is drained by the Colville River, which flows north into the Arctic Ocean. Several Inuipiaq villages are located in and adjacent to the NPR-A. Residents of these and other North Slope communities use NPR-A’s subsistence resources for their traditional way of life.
In 1976, Congress transferred management of NPR-A from the Navy to the BLM. Congress mandated a program of oil and gas leasing within the NPR-A in 1980, opening the Petroleum Reserve to future development. Since that time, the BLM has developed several land-use plans for the area.
- In 1998, BLM completed a plan for the Northeast NPR-A (4.6 million acres). BLM amended this plan from 2003-2006, and completed a Final Supplemental plan for Northeast NPR-A in May 2008.
- In 2004, BLM completed a plan for the Northwest NPR-A.
- A proposal by Conoco-Philips Alaska, Inc. for oil development in the Northeast NPR-A and the Colville River Delta resulted in the completion of the Alpine Satellite Development Plan in 2004.
- In 2005, BLM initiated a plan for South NPR-A. It discontinued the plan in 2007.
- In 2010, BLM initiated a plan for the enitre NPR-A.
- In 2013, the Record of Desicion for the final NPR-A IAP/EIS was released and supercedes previous land use plans in the management of the 23 million acre reserve.
- On November 7, 2014, BLM released the Final Supplemental EIS for the development of petroleum resources in the Greater Mooses Tooth (GMT) Unit, located within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Learn more>