Arctic Development Logistics & Support

While the warming Arctic has potential adverse effects on our Nation's fisheries, it also presents new opportunities to the Western Alaska coastline as more vessels traverse the Bering Sea and North Pacific. These vessels will need support services, including fuel, equipment storage, maintenance, and other logistical offerings that the Far North cannot provide.

In the SWAMC region, the Aleutian Chain (and to some extent the Pribilof Islands) can provide some of these services. The Port of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor has hosted Shell workers, rigs, and equipment for several summers as the company explores for oil and gas in Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf. Other companies, such as Statoil and ConocoPhillips, are also working in the Arctic and will seek services from communities along the Southwest. The community of Adak, for instance, has gotten into the act. The former naval base at Adak on Adak Island in the Aleutian Chain will be operated as a logistics support terminal for the oil and gas industry offshore Alaska's North Slope, based on an agreement signed in 2012 by Offshore Systems Inc., Aleut Enterprise and Aleut Real Estate.

Both Unalaska and Adak provide deep water ports and excellent infrastructure and are looking to expand their networks to accomodate bigger vessels and new industries. Other communities, such as Sand Point, were in consideration for oil and gas logistics and services when Shell was exploring the North Aleutian Basin.

This is an industry worth watching and developing in the SWAMC region, especially if it proves to be compatible with the large commercial fishing operations that are seasonal throughout the year.

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