National Petroleum Reserve
in Alaska (NPRA)
The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) has been the focus of oil exploration during the past decade, stimulated by the mid-1990s discovery of the adjacent Alpine field—the largest onshore oil discovery in the United States during the past 25 years. Recent activities in NPRA, including extensive 3–D seismic surveys, six Federal lease sales totaling more than $250 million in bonus bids, and completion of more than 30 exploration wells on Federal and Native lands, indicate in key formations more gas than oil and poorer reservoir quality than anticipated. In the absence of a gas pipeline from northern Alaska, exploration has waned and several petroleum companies have relinquished assets in the NPRA.