Oil-Native Conflicts Solutions for the Beaufort Sea

by Mark N. Savit, Cotten, Day & Doyle, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


Oil and gas development in Federal waters off Alaska has recently been stymied by litigation. Tensions have been increasing rather than decreasing and no development is taking place in various locations. Faced with identical problems in the Eastern Beaufort Sea, the author, along with a small group of other involved industry participants, attempted to resolve concerns directly with the affected coastal users. As a first priority, industry negotiators inquired informally whether negotiations would even be possible. Concurrently, research was begun into the statutory and regulatory constraints on both parties regarding any actions that might be undertaken to facilitate a settlement. With these problems in mind, initial presentations were made by each party to the other. These general proposals were then presented to each involved State or Federal regulatory agency to insure that they were conceptually acceptable. A problem was encountered in obtaining certain approvals necessary from the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding the assistance requested by the Natives. Operations proceeded through the summer largely without incident.

Subject Headings: Seas and oceans | Federal government | Laws | Tension | Coastal environment | Fish management | Petroleum | Industries | Beaufort Sea | Alaska | United States

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