Cold Temperatures at Umiat Test Well No. 9
Since 2009, more than 7,800 tons of contaminated soil polluted the remote location of Test Well No. 9 near Umiat, a historic oil exploratory base camp. The conditions are harsh with the site located more than 100 miles from the nearest road system in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. The winter elements consistently brought darkness, blizzards and temperatures 40 degrees below zero. When spring neared, traveling overland was threatened because the ice road began to melt and the Colville River rose. Wildlife encounters and grizzly bear dens also were a concern.