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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Alaska Geothermal Exploration Permit (4-AK-c)

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources requires filing an application before a developer may drill shallow holes for the purposes of measuring heat flow or temperature gradient. The ADNR regulations in 11 AAC 87.030 - 87.050 cover this permit's requirements. Within ADNR, the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas handles all exploration activities and permitting under this chapter. Note: the geothermal exploration permit is also referred to as a "geothermal prospecting permit" in AS 38.05.181 and in Flowchart 3-AK-d.

Geothermal Exploration Permit Process

4-AK-c.1 - Application for Geothermal Exploration Permit

A developer must “file an application for a geothermal exploration permit before drilling shallow holes for purposes of measuring heat flow or temperature gradient” (11 AAC 87.030(a)). The application should be submitted to the ADNR, Division of Oil and Gas (DO&G). The application fee for this type of land use permit is currently $50 (11 AAC 05.010(a)(11)(H)).

4-AK-c.2 - Conduct Review and Notify Developer if Exploration Bond Will be Required

The Commissioner will conduct a review of the application and determine whether or not to permit the proposed exploration activities. Some activities may require a bond and ADNR will notify the developer within 30 days of receipt of the application whether a bond will be required ( 11 AAC 87.050). Operations which require a bond may not commence until the bond has been filed by the developer.

4-AK-c.3 to 4-AK-c.4 - Will DO&G Require an Exploration Bond

The permittee may be require to file an additional personal or corporate surety bond to comply with the terms of the permit issued by ADNR. Operations requiring a bond may not commence until the acceptable bond has been filed. ADNR will notify the applicant within 30 days of a complete application filing whether a bond will be required for the activity ( 11 AAC 87.050).

4-AK-c.5 to 4-AK-c.6 - Geothermal Exploration Permit

Approved Geothermal Exploration permits are not granted for terms of longer than 2 years. However, the permit may be extended indefinitely in 1-year extension intervals. Any modifications to the original permit must be approved by ADNR and permits may also be modified or revoked by ADNR at any time.

4-AK-c.7 - Completion of Geothermal Exploration Report

Developer should commence exploratory activities approved in their permit. The provisions of 11 AAC 87.030(d) provide minimum requirements of all exploratory operations and any additional requirements of the specific provision should be followed.

Within 60 days after completion of geothermal exploration activities the developer should submit a report to ADNR including information regarding final hole designation, drilling logs, methods of cementing and completion, complete details of abandonment procedure and any further information on drilling difficulties or unusual circumstances.

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Geothermal Contact
(907) 465-3427
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