The federal government is fixing an environmental mess it left decades ago in the nation's largest oil reserve, removing rusting relics from an early era of exploration and providing a small counterweight of new jobs to the huge cutbacks on the North Slope oil patch.
The progress was highlighted Tuesday with a ceremonial plugging of a decades-old well in the giant National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The remote site 50 miles southeast of Barrow is accessible by ski plane.
Neil Kornze, director of the Bureau of Land Management, poured a bucket of cement mix into an eight-inch-wide pipe, helping plug a well drilled in 1951 near the frozen U.S. Arctic Ocean.
Read more: Environmental disaster in nations biggest oil reserve finally being cleaned up
Alaska Dispatch Publishing