at the USF&WS offices in Arlington, Virginia. The comment period ends October 1, 2002. Written comments should be submitted to:
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Natural Resources
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
At the East SRS, activities initially will be limited to construction of an approximately 6.4 mile gravel access road and gravel pad and drilling of up to four exploration wells. The access road will run from the existing Swanson River Field (SRF) east to the proposed East Swanson Pad A. If yields from exploration wells indicate commercially viable natural gas, field delineation and development wells may be drilled and gas production facilities installed on Pad A. Pipelines and utility lines between the SRF and Pad A will be installed adjacent to the access road. Additional exploration wells are planned from the East Swanson Pad B which will be reached via an additional 1.9 miles of gravel road. From Pad B, directional drilling techniques will be used to reach natural gas targets to the north and east of the Swanson River. If successful, additional gas pipeline and production facilities will be installed to support Pad B.
North Swanson-Birch Hill
North SRS gas exploration was conducted at one Birch Hill Unit (BHU) well (BHU22-25) in 1965. Natural gas was discovered at that time and the well has remained in a “suspended” status since discovery. To bring the gas to market, a 3.5 mile gravel access road will be constructed northward from the Swanson River Field to Birch Hill Unit. The existing pad at BHU 22-25 will be enlarged to accommodate additional drilling. Production facilities will be installed on the pad and a pipeline/utility system will be buried adjacent to the gravel access road. An additional new pad, North Swanson Pad A (NS-A), along the road proposed, may be used for future development.
The typical drilling and production gravel pad is approximately 300’ x 400’. The planned directional drilling at East Swanson will require a slightly larger pad, approximately 385’ x 485’, to accommodate drilling wells and installation of production facilities. However, this will reduce the number of drilling pads that would have been constructed for the project if directional drilling were not utilized.
Approximately 280,500 cubic yards of grave is required. No concrete or asphalt surfacing will be needed. Although it is hoped that gravel reclaimed from the SRF will be available to support the project, indigenous gravel along the new road or gravel