FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) –
An Alaska Native Regional Corporation and an energy company have announced they will jointly explore the Yukon Flats region for potential oil and gas extraction. Doyon Limited and Hilcorp Energy Co. say the five-year deal will include exploration of 2,500 square miles. Doyon CEO Aaron Schutt says the Alaska Native corporation holds the mineral rights to land around the villages of Birch Creek, Fort Yukon, Beaver, and Stevens Village. Much of the remainder of the 15,625 square miles in the flats is owned by the federal government and administered as the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.