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Notice

Letters of Authorization To Take Marine Mammals

Action

Notice Of Issuance.

Summary

In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), we, the Fish and Wildlife Service, have issued letters of authorization for the nonlethal take of polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to oil and gas industry exploration, development, and production activities in the Beaufort Sea and the adjacent northern coast of Alaska and incidental to oil and gas industry exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and the adjacent western coast of Alaska.

 

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Craig Perham at the Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; (800) 362-5148 or (907) 786-3810.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

On August 2, 2006, we published in the Federal Register a final rule (71 FR 43926) establishing regulations that allow us to authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walrus during year-round oil and gas industry exploration, development, and production activities in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. The rule established subpart J in part 18 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and was effective until August 2, 2011. New regulations were issued on August 3, 2011 (76 FR 47010), effective through August 3, 2016. The rule prescribed a process under which we issue Letters of Authorization (LOAs) to applicants conducting activities as described under the provisions of the regulations. In accordance with section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and our regulations at 50 CFR 18, subpart J, we issued an LOA to each of the following companies in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska:

Beaufort Sea Letters of Authorization Back to Top
Company Activity Project Date issued
BP Exploration Alaska, Inc Development Liberty Development Project January 20, 2011.
BP Exploration Alaska, Inc Development Red Dog #1 Plug and Abandonment Project January 20, 2011.
Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation Exploration North Tarn Exploration Program January 1, 2011.
Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation Exploration North Tarn Summer Clean Up and Field Studies July 22, 2011.
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc Exploration Hydrate Production Test, Ignik Sikumi I, Prudhoe Bay Unit January 3, 2011.
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc Exploration West Kuparuk 3D Seismic Exploration Program January 3, 2011.
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc Development Puviaq #1 Plug and Abandonment Program January 10, 2011.
Eni US Operating Co., Inc Development Nikaitchuq Development Program May 15, 2011.
ExxonMobil Production Company Development Point Thomson February 1, 2011.
ExxonMobil Production Company Exploration Seafloor Sediment Sampling Program July 11, 2011.
FEX L.P Development Plug and Abandonment Project, Aklaqyaaq #1, Aklaq #2, and Aklaq #6 Wells January 10, 2011.
Marsh Creek, LLC Development Corrective Action Activities, Umiat Test Well No. 9 February 11, 2011.
North Slope Borough Development Gas Fields Well Drilling Program April 15, 2011.
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC Exploration Beaufort Sea Acoustic Monitoring Recorder Deployment and Retrieval Project July 15, 2011.
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC Exploration Central Beaufort Sea Fisheries Cruise Environmental Studies Program July 15, 2011.
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc Development Nuna Pre-Development Project April 15, 2011.
Savant Alaska, LLC Development Badami Unit Redevelopment Project February 7, 2011.
Shell Offshore, Inc Development Beaufort Sea Ice Observation and On-Ice Argos Data Buoy Deployment Program January 10, 2011.
Shell Offshore, Inc Exploration Beaufort Sea Open Water Marine Survey Program and Onshore Environmental Baseline Study Activities June 10, 2011.

On June 11, 2008, we published in the Federal Register a final rule (73 FR 33212) establishing regulations that allow us to authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walrus during year-round oil and gas industry exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent western coast of Alaska. The rule established subpart I of 50 CFR part 18 and is effective until June 11, 2013. The rule prescribed a process under which we issue LOAs to applicants conducting activities as described under the provisions of the regulations. In accordance with section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA and our regulations at 50 CFR 18, subpart I, we issued an LOA to the following companies in the Chukchi Sea:

Chukchi Sea Letters of Authorization Back to Top
Company Activity Project Date issued
Shell Offshore, Inc Exploration Chukchi Sea Ice Observation Flights Program January 10, 2011.
Shell Offshore, Inc Exploration Chukchi Sea Coastal Marine and Onshore Environmental Baseline Study May 15, 2011.
Shell Offshore, Inc Exploration Chukchi Sea Baseline Environmental Studies Program July 29, 2011.
Statoil USA E&P, Inc Exploration Chukchi Sea Shallow Hazards Survey Project June 20, 2011.

Dated: October 5, 2011.

E. LaVerne Smith,

Acting Regional Director, Alaska Region.

[FR Doc. 2011-28739 Filed 11-4-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

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