Abundant in petroleum and natural gas deposits, the Colville River Delta lies 50 miles west of Prudhoe Bay. It is the site of the 600-million-barrel Alpine oil field, operated by ConocoPhillips Alaska. Alpine is the fifth largest oil discovery on the North Slope and the first on Native-owned lands. Production started in late 2001. Kuukpik owns the surface rights to portions of the oil field and receives a small royalty from the production of oil and gas.
As the first Native village to be impacted in this way by the oil industry, Kuukpik was able to successfully negotiate a comprehensive surface-use agreement. This agreement established provisions for education, training, preferences in contracting, employment and the environment.
The corporation and its partners are involved in many types of projects including gravel mobilization and stabilization, pipe transportation, placement of pipe and facilities, pipe welding and transportation. Jobs and training opportunities for our shareholders are of paramount importance to Kuukpik. All state and federal environmental standards were incorporated by reference into the agreement, as well as the environmental standards and stipulations developed by the corporation.
Prior to the discovery of the Alpine oil field, Nuiqsut was primarily a subsistence-based economy. Subsistence remains the integral way of life for the Inupiat people of Nuiqsut, and so as part of the surface-use agreement, the Kuukpik Subsistence Oversight Panel was created. This panel provides ongoing local input and oversight for the protection, promotion and health of the subsistence resources in the area.
The traditional values of Care of the Land, Care of Resources and Healthy, Safe Surroundings have always been part of the corporation’s goals and objectives. As a vital part of monitoring and protecting subsistence resources, Kuukpik has successfully produced scientific studies and subsistence harvest reports. We are committed to environmentally safe, economically feasible exploration, development and production of our lands and ensuring subsistence users’ rights are protected.