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What is the difference between the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) is a roughly 23.4 million acre area of Federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It lies in northwest Alaska and borders both the Chukchi Sea to the west and the Beaufort Sea to the north. The NPR-A was originally established in 1923 as a petroleum reserve for the U.S. Navy, then transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1976.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) covers about 19.3 million acres in northeast Alaska, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s the largest national wildlife refuge in the country and borders Canada to the east and the Beaufort Sea to the north. It was established in 1960 as a national wildlife refuge under the Department of the Interior.

Learn more: Alaska Petroleum Systems