ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied ConocoPhillips a permit that would have given the company access to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The idea was to build a bridge over the Colville River to access what would have been the first oil and gas lease in the reserve.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office says the corps is insisting instead that ConocoPhillips use directional drilling to access the oil. Murkowski, R-Alaska, says while one oil deposit may be in reach, the next in line for development is more than 10 miles away.
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, says he also is very disappointed the project has gotten knocked off-track. He says in coming months he hopes the company and the permitting agencies can work together.