Chevron said the test well at the Jack oilfield was the deepest ever sunk and is reckoned to have cost around 0m (£53m).Full development of the field, which could commence next year after further tests, may cost several billion dollars.The chapter then moves through a description of various oil spill response options and promising new concepts.RISK-BASED FRAMEWORK The committee chose to look at oil spill response in a risk-based framework.Periodic proposals to increase the number of inspectors and safety experts, particularly in the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the principal regulatory agency for Alaska's oil industry, were stymied by the industry's political strength, its popularity among Alaskans and the belief that enough safeguards were in place to prevent an accident.Cutbacks in safety measures were not limited to the state and the industry, though.
But the price seems to have been a dependence on the benefactor that led the state to abide decisions now being regretted.
The 300-metre Exxon Valdez, carrying more than 53 million gallons of Alaska North Slope crude oil, strayed from shipping lanes on March 24, 1989, and struck Bligh Reef.
The damaged supertanker leaked 10.8 million gallons.
Curtailing the means to fight a spill had seemed justified, state leaders said, by their strong and ultimately unrealistic belief that an emergency of the magnitude that occurred was virtually impossible.
This view is also a reflection of the strong bonds Alaska has developed with big oil.