This Week in Alaska Business History February 11, 2001

PHOTO/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
Editor’s note: "This Week in Alaska Business History" revisits events that shaped our past.

"Those who cannot

remember the past are

condemned to repeat it."

-- George Santayana, 1863-1952

20 years ago this week

Anchorage Times

Feb. 14, 1981

Large gas field found in reserve south of Barrow

By John Knowlton

Times Writer

The U.S. Geological Survey has made a discovery of what it calls one of the largest natural gas reservoirs ever in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The find was made in an area southwest of Barrow.

It has tested at a rate in excess of 1,000 pounds per square inch of natural gas. That equals about 2.2 million cubic feet of gas a day or enough to operate electrical generating facilities for a city of 8,000 to 10,000 people.

"From the preliminary results, this would appear to be at least one of the better gas wells discovered on the reserve," said Max Brewer, chief of NPR-A operations for the federal agency.

He said earlier drilling in the area indicates that the gas reservoir covers "a fairly sizable area" extending at least four miles from the new discovery.

"This is something that could very well be bigger than the existing gas fields in Barrow," Brewer said.

Those fields are the oldest producing natural gas fields in the world north of the Arctic Circle. In their 31st year of production, the fields are providing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year to Barrow.

10 years ago this week

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Feb. 11, 1991

DNR Commissioner wants help with land picks

By Ray Tyson

For the Journal of Commerce

Commissioner Harold Heinze of the Department of Natural Resources is calling on "knowledgeable" Alaskans to help him pick the last 20 million acres of federal land available to the state under the Alaska Statehood Act. But time is running out.

"I don’t think a lot of us have thought about the fact only three years are left in the land selection process from the federal government," Heinze said.

Under the statehood act, signed in 1959, the state is entitled to 103 million acres of federal land, but the act requires the state to complete its selections by 1994.

While Heinze said the Hickel administration has made final land selections a priority, he emphasized that "we don’t have the time, energy and money to get data on everything in the world."

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Feb. 11, 1991

Another Tongass battle

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Just when you thought it was over, a new fight concerning the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is under way. The latest skirmish -- between traditional foes, the environmental groups and the timber and, more recently, mining industries -- is being fought over proposed changes in the Tongass land management plan, now being revised to comply with the new law passed late last year by Congress.

For the timber industry, the big worry is that despite assurances of steady timber supply put into the new Tongass law, conservation groups will pressure the Forest Service into actual reductions through land plan revisions and other administrative procedures.

Actually, Tongass has the capacity to sustain timber harvests well above levels proposed by the Forest Service, the industry argues. The service, in revisions to its Tongass land management plan that are now required by the new legislation, proposes an annual "allowable sale quantity" of about 420 million board feet yearly, a reduction from the 450 million board feet allowed under previous law.

... Forest Service studies show the Tongass, the nation’s largest national forest, can actually produce 700 million board feet of annual timber production and remain within the "sustained yield" requirement of law, the industry group said.

-- Compiled by Ed Bennett.

02/10/2001 - 8:00pm