Exploration in Yukon Flats Update
In 2019, Hilcorp Alaska and Doyon, Limited signed an agreement for exploration for oil and gas covering 1.6 million acres in the northeast part of the Doyon region. The lands include Doyon and village corporation lands near the communities of Birch Creek, Stevens Village, Fort Yukon, and Beaver.
When Doyon was established, early leaders and village leaders focused on selecting lands for local and traditional uses, historical-cultural sites, as well as lands that had economic potential and through natural resource development could provide employment, training, and contracting for villages and Doyon. This collaborative land selection strategy focused on opportunities for forestry, gravel, oil & gas, and minerals. The land selections are distributed throughout the region and Doyon has pursued projects consistently to gain more knowledge and data to achieve the successful balance of protecting and enhancing lands to provide economic and social benefits to its shareholders.
Early leaders of Doyon, including Doyon’s first president John Sackett, in partnership with Fort Yukon, Stevens Village, and Beaver leaders focused on allocating an additional 300,000 plus acres within the Yukon Flats region for oil and gas potential that had been identified early in the 1970s. Land agreements were signed to focus on providing this benefit and to accommodate for more local land use for a project. The specific land type in this allocation were lands that could have been equally distributed to all Doyon villages throughout the Interior, so the partnership was an integral collaborative effort.
In the 1970s and 1980s, several oil and gas companies conducted exploration programs in the Yukon Flats. The first step in the recent Hilcorp project included evaluation of the data Doyon, Limited had developed from these prior programs. The graphic, below, shows prior work in the area.
Hilcorp and Doyon met with communities in the area in 2019 prior to the first activity in the project which was to fly an airborne aerial gravity survey over the 1.6 million acres to better understand the geology beneath the surface. The aerial work concluded in June 2020. Hilcorp recently shared their next step which is a focused shallow stratigraphic test program starting in June 2021.
The shallow stratigraphic test program will help build additional data about the geology of the basin including understanding near-surface information such as soil types and the angles of the basin. A shallow stratigraphic test includes shallow boreholes to a depth of 250 feet to collect core samples. Access to the sites will be helicopter-based, and the boreholes will be accomplished utilizing a small rig placed on cribbing at the site.
Doyon continues to regularly provide updates on the project page on our website and via community meetings with villages located nearby. For more information, please contact the Lands Department at 459-2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.