National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPR-A) Planning Area
The Bureau of Land Management has developed a new Integrated Activity Plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement (IAP/EIS) to plan for the appropriate management of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). 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 of the NPR-A 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.