New Findings Show Increased Ocean Acidification in Alaska Waters

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Alaska’s oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska’s king crab and salmon fisheries, according to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist. This spring, chemical oceanographer Jeremy Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska. They show that ocean acidification is likely more severe and is happening more rapidly in Alaska than in tropical waters.

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UAF installs ocean acidification buoy in Alaska waters; first such in high-latitude coastal sea

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A new set of buoys in Alaska waters will help scientists understand how climate change may be affecting the pH level of northern seas. University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) researchers placed the first buoy last month. Other moorings have been deployed with ocean acidification sensors, but this is the first complete package in Alaska. The first set, at the water’s surface, measures the water’s pH, as well as water temperature, carbon dioxide levels and other data.

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Shell backs out of Alaska for foreseeable future with financial hit

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Shell announced on Monday that it will cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. The company said the decision reflects the results from Burger J exploration well located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea; the high costs associated with the project; and the “ challenging and unpredictable ” federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0

2015 184

Alaska Senator Introduces Bill to Study Feasibility of an Arctic Deep Water Port

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Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), recently introduced legislation authorizing a study to determine the feasibility of building a deep water port in the Arctic. The Arctic Deep Water Sea Port Act would direct the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to conduct the study in an effort to protect US strategic interests in the region. US Sen.

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USGS releases first shale-oil and shale-gas resource potential assessment for the Alaska North Slope

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The US Geological Survey has released its first estimate of the potential of undiscovered, technically recoverable onshore shale oil and gas resources in Alaska’s North Slope. Northern Alaska province showing boundaries of assessment units (AU). Three source rocks of the Alaska North Slope were assessed in this study: the Triassic Shublik Formation, the lower part of the Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Kingak Shale, and the Cretaceous pebble shale unit-Hue Shale.

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DOE awarding $35M to 11 projects for hydrokinetic turbine development; ARPA-E SHARKS

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The bottom, sides, and surface of rivers and tidal channels confine water flow, which significantly alters the operation of river and tidal turbines. University of Alaska Fairbanks. ARPA-E Power Generation Water Wave and Tidal

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Rosneft and ExxonMobil expand strategic cooperation in Russian Arctic and Alaska

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Rosneft and ExxonMobil will expand their cooperation under their 2011 Strategic Cooperation Agreement ( earlier post ) to include an additional approximately 600,000 square kilometers (150 million acres) of exploration acreage in the Russian Arctic and potential participation by Rosneft (or its affiliate) in the Point Thomson project in Alaska. Water depth (m). It is estimated that Point Thomson contains approximately 25% of the known gas resource base in Alaska’s North Slope.

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US and Japan partnership to test methane hydrate production technologies on Alaskas North Slope

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The US Department of Energy; the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and ConocoPhillips will work together to test technologies for producing methane gas from hydrate deposits on the Alaska North Slope. Methane hydrate consists of molecules of natural gas trapped in an open rigid framework of water molecules. It occurs in sediments within and below thick permafrost in Arctic regions, and in the subsurface of most continental waters with a depth of ~1,500 feet or greater.

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Alaska Native Corporation Proposes Underground Coal Gasification Project with Carbon Capture for Power Generation

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CIRI), an Alaska Native corporation, is proposing an underground coal gasification (UCG) project that would use the resulting syngas to fuel a new 100 MW combined cycle power plant. CIRI executives presented the plan to state lawmakers at a joint hearing in Alaska on Friday. The proposed CIRI site is more than 650 feet below the surface, below the fresh water aquifer and isolated from it by impermeable overlying rock layers.

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Department of Interior seeking industry input on interest in potential oil and gas lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet

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Through this process, BOEM will consider a range of important factors including industry interest, resource potential, and the need to protect and respect Alaska’s communities and unique environments. BOEM will remain in close coordination with the state of Alaska, as well as with local and Native Alaskan governments, and other stakeholders throughout this process. Between 1978 and 1985, 13 exploration wells were drilled in the federal waters of the Cook Inlet Planning Area.

2012 179

Alaska Senators Introduce Legislation Permitting Advanced Directional Drilling for ANWR

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US Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced legislation that would allow the use of advanced directional drilling to tap the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) coastal plain. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, would allow access to the coastal plain’s oil and natural gas resources through the use of underground directional drilling from state-owned lands to the west of the refuge and state waters from the north.

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ConocoPhillips and US DOE project testing production of methane from hydrates via CO2 injection on Alaska North Slope

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A fully instrumented well that will test innovative technologies for producing methane gas from hydrate deposits has been installed on the North Slope of Alaska. Methane hydrate consists of molecules of natural gas trapped in an open rigid framework of water molecules. It occurs in sediments within and below thick permafrost in Arctic regions, and in the subsurface of most continental waters with a depth of ~1,500 feet or greater.

2011 200

DOE awards up to $40M for open-water, grid-connected wave energy testing facility

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of up to $40 million, subject to appropriations, to design, permit, and construct an open-water, grid-connected national wave energy testing facility. Recent studies estimate that America’s technically recoverable wave energy resource ranges between approximately 900–1,230 terawatt hours (TWh) per year, distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

2016 163

Obama and Trudeau put majority of US and Canadian Arctic water off-limits to offshore oil and gas leasing

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US President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau jointly announced sweeping restrictions to offshore oil and gas leasing in the US and Canadian Arctic waters. Obama designated the vast majority of US waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing. million acres which have previously been leased near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. It’s uncharted waters.”.

2016 150

Dept. of Interior approves Shell Chukchi Sea oil spill response plan; next steps to shallow-water Arctic exploration

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Shell has proposed drilling up to six wells in the Chukchi Sea during the next two summer open water seasons within the Burger Prospect, located about 70 miles off the coast in approximately 140 feet of water. a requirement that Shell terminate drilling into any hydrocarbon-bearing zones 38 days prior to November 1 so that if an accident were to occur, all capping, response and well killing operations could be conducted in open water before ice forms in Chukchi waters.

2012 205

DOE to Support Research Associated with Water Issues for Shale Gas and Alaskan Oil and Natural Gas

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Increasing population, heightened per capita water demands, regional droughts, and concerns over climate change have combined to make water issues even more pressing. As water supplies become scarcer, the protection of existing supplies becomes even more critical and water from oil and natural gas development is being viewed as a potential resource rather than a waste.

2009 150

MBL begins first test of tropical seaweed farming for biofuels production

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A team of researchers led by Loretta Roberson, associate scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, has installed the first seaweed farm in Puerto Rico and US tropical waters.

BSEE approves new drilling operations by Eni in Arctic; extended reach drilling

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The Bureau’s approval allows Eni to move forward with new exploration in federal waters, but only after a review by BSEE Alaska Region personnel to ensure the request met appropriate technical adequacy, safety and environmental sustainability standards. Eni’s exploratory drilling will take place on Spy Island, a man-made artificial island approximately three miles offshore of Oliktok Point, in State of Alaska waters.

2017 163

BMW Group to source lithium from Livent

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Livent employs an innovative method that emphasizes sustainable water use and minimizes the impact on local ecosystems and communities. Lithium water study in cooperation with University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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USC study shows promising potential for giant-kelp-based biofuel with depth-cycling approach

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physically moving the macroalgae between deep nutrient-rich water at night and shallow depths within the photic zone during the day to optimize growth. 13 C values suggesting that the depth-cycled kelp were not nitrogen-deficient and assimilated nutrients from deep water.

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Harvey Gulf orders Wärtsilä 746 kWh battery systems for another four LNG-powered supply vessels

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Founded in 1955, Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf International Marine is a marine transportation company that specializes in providing offshore supply and multi-purpose support vessels for deep water operations in the US Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Africa and Alaska.

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BMW Group commissions study on sustainable lithium extraction

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The BMW Group has commissioned two US universities to conduct a scientific analysis of water consumption in the lithium extraction process. The aim of the University of Alaska-Anchorage and University of Massachusetts-Amherst study will be to investigate the impacts of lithium extraction on the hydrologic environment in Latin America.

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5 phase SRM motors

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When the internal temperature of the motor is more than hot enough to boil water, it doesn't matter much if the ambient temperature is typical of Alaska or Arizona. Quote: Originally Posted by brian_. I don't think the ambient temperature matters much, because all modern EV motors run high enough power density that they need active (normally liquid, often oil) cooling; their internal operating temperature can get pretty high, even in a temperate climate.

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US DOE to award up to $20M for research on methane hydrates

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Methane hydrate—molecules of natural gas trapped in an ice-like cage of water molecules—represents a potentially vast methane resource for both the United States and the world. Recent discoveries of methane hydrate in arctic and deep-water marine environments have highlighted the need for a better understanding of this substance as a natural storehouse of carbon and a potential energy resource. DOE-Alaska cooperation on unconventional resources.

2013 214

Woods Hole awarded $5.7M for seaweed-to-biofuels projects

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A REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS) 100 vehicle outfitted with acoustic, optical, and environmental sensors will monitor seaweed growth and health, equipment status, and water column properties. The WHOI team will outfit an unmanned underwater vehicle with acoustic, optical, and environmental sensors to monitor seaweed growth and health, equipment status, and water column properties, such as nutrient content.

2017 170

BOEMRE awards $5.6M for Arctic environmental study to inform decision-making on potential energy development in the Chukchi Sea; $500K for study on ice fracturing

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The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today recently signed a cooperative agreement with the University of Texas at Austin and a team of Arctic researchers for a comprehensive study of the Hanna Shoal ecosystem in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. Ongoing studies have highlighted Hanna Shoal as an important biological ecosystem between the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean waters.

2011 170

Obama Administration releases implementation plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region

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The Administration solicited input from Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, Congress, academia, industry and others to develop the Implementation Plan that sets forth the guidelines for Federal Departments and Agencies to execute the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The Obama Administration released the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region , itself released in May 2013.

2014 184

DOE to award up to $20M for further studies on methane hydrates; projects worth up to $80M

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement for up to $20 million ( DE-FOA-0001023 ) for applications for selection and award in FY 2014 that focus on the (1) methane hydrate reservoir-response field experiments in Alaska; and (2) field programs for marine gas hydrate characterization.

2014 185

DOE awards $10.5M for next-generation marine energy systems

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This project will develop modeling tools to explore ways to minimize effects of sediment transport, such as water erosion, displacement, and tilting of the device, and to increase the lifetime of the system by reducing maintenance requirements in commercial-scale deployments. Oscilla Power is developing a WEC consisting of a surface float that is tethered to a base suspended in the water. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected six organizations to receive up to $10.5

2015 150

UT Austin to lead $58M study of methane hydrate in Gulf of Mexico; $41M from DOE

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Methane hydrate—natural gas trapped in an ice-like cage of water molecules—occurs in both terrestrial and marine environments. Prior programs in Alaska have explored gas hydrate reservoir potential and alternative production strategies, and additional testing programs are in development. While not part of this new program, the DOE further intends to evaluate production methods on terrestrial methane hydrate deposits in Alaska.

2014 242

DOE reports show major potential for wave and tidal energy production near US coasts

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These new wave and tidal resource assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of the technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15% of our nation’s electricity by 2030. The West Coast, including Alaska and Hawaii, has especially high potential for wave energy development, while significant opportunities for wave energy also exist along the East Coast.

2012 191

Back to the Arctic: BOEM conditionally approves Shell’s revised Chukchi Sea exploration plan

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Shell’s revised EP proposes the drilling of up to six wells within the Burger Prospect, located in approximately 140 feet of water about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright. Additionally, the Department released proposed Arctic standards in February that will ensure that exploration of the Alaska OCS is subject to strong standards specifically tailored to the region’s conditions.

2015 179

BOEMRE issues conditional approval for Shell exploration plan for Beaufort Sea

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to drill up to four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea beginning in July 2012. The EA considered new scientific information that had not been previously available for consideration or analysis, including the US Geological Survey’s June 2011 report, “An Evaluation of the Science Needs to Inform Decisions on Outer Continental Shelf Energy Development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska.”.

2011 185

DOE awarding $6.5M to 9 large-scale Phase I pilot coal projects

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This transformational technology uses sCO 2 as a working fluid instead of water to achieve high thermodynamic efficiencies that can potentially exceed advanced steam-Rankine cycles. University of Alaska Fairbanks. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $6.5

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ARPA-E to award $22M to 18 projects to accelerate production of macroalgae for energy and other uses; MARINER

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Macroalgae can be utilized as a feedstock for domestic transportation fuels, chemicals and other commercial products without competing with food crops for land and water. From Alaska to the Gulf Coast, the United States has offshore resources capable of producing enough seaweed to handle as much as 10 percent of our demand for transportation fuel. University of Alaska Fairbanks – Fairbanks, AK.

2017 150

Expansion of sugarcane crop in Brazil to areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland leads to local cooling

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It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants “exhale” cooler water. The researchers used data from hundreds of satellite images over 733,000 square miles—an area larger than the state of Alaska. They measured temperature, reflectivity (albedo), and evapotranspiration—the water loss from the soil and from plants as they exhale water vapor.

2011 191

EPA releases draft air quality permits for Shell and ConocoPhillps Arctic oil exploration activities

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two additional draft air quality permits for Shell Oil Company and ConocoPhillips Company exploratory oil drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. EPA will accept public comments on the revised draft permits through 6 September and at public hearings in Barrow, Alaska on 23 and 24 August , and in Anchorage on 26 August.

2011 170

EPA issues final air quality permits to Shell for Arctic oil and gas exploration; fleet emissions reduced 50+% from 2010 permits

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EPA Region 10 has issued final air quality permits to Shell for oil and gas exploration drilling in the Alaska Arctic. EPA Region 10 proposed the draft permits for public comment on 6 July 2011 and held informational meetings and a public hearing in Barrow, Alaska on 3 and 4 August 2011. The US Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management and Regulatory Enforcement ( BOEMRE ) is the federal agency that authorizes oil drilling in offshore federal waters.

2011 170

Obama Administration recommends designating most of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness

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million acres of land and water in northeastern Alaska and is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) as a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System). Twenty years later, President Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) into law, establishing new Federal conservation units across the State, enlarging several existing units, and designating official Wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers.

2015 191

BSEE authorizes Shell to begin preparatory top-hole activities for drilling in Chukchi Sea; activities limited to non-oil-bearing zones

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Watson announced that Shell will be allowed to move forward with certain limited preparatory activities on the seafloor for drilling in the Chukchi Sea offshore Alaska; these activities are limited to non-oil-bearing zones of the seabed. It is our highest priority that any activities that occur offshore Alaska be held to the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards. US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James A.

2012 191

US Department of Interior Conditionally Approves Shell’s Exploration Plan For Certain Chukchi Sea Leases in Arctic

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The Exploration Plan now approved allows Shell to drill up to three exploration wells during the July-October open water drilling season. The closest proposed drill site is more than 60 miles to shore and approximately 80 miles from Wainwright, Alaska. The US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Minerals Management Service (MMS) has approved , with conditions, Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s s Exploration Plan to drill three exploratory, information-gathering wells in the Chukchi Sea.

2009 170

US DOE awards ~$5M to expand research on methane hydrates

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When methane hydrates are “melted,” or exposed to pressure and temperature conditions outside those where the formations are stable, the solid crystalline lattice turns to liquid water, and the enclosed methane molecules are released as gas. In May 2012, the Energy Department, alongside its Japanese partners, announced a successful field trial of methane hydrate production technologies on Alaska’s North Slope.

2013 199

API: US petroleum demand edges up in May

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Weak growth in the United States, stubborn unemployment, and a world economy doing little better than treading water are contributing to this. North Dakota production in May set a record at 574 thousand barrels per day, eclipsing production from Alaska, which fell 5.0% Total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose half a percent in May over the same month last year to 18.5 million barrels per day, according to figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API).

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