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ANCHORAGE, AK— In keeping with the Administration’s goals of promoting America’s energy independence and strong job creation, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published a notice in the Federal Register calling for nominations and comments on all available tracts in the 22.8 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).
The BLM’s 2013 Area-Wide Integrated Activity Plan identified 11.8 million acres available for leasing (52 percent of the NPR-A). There are 900 tracts on approximately 10.3 million acres that will be available for nomination and comment under this lease sale. Currently, there are 189 authorized oil and gas leases, totaling 1,372,688 acres in the NPR-A. Through this Call for Nominations, the BLM is also soliciting interest in the remaining 11 million acres of NPR-A that are currently unavailable for leasing.
The notice, announcing a 30-day period in which interested parties may nominate or comment on available tracts, is the first step in the process leading up to the next oil and gas lease sale. BLM Alaska must receive all nominations and comments on these tracts for consideration on or before September 7, 2017.
Although the BLM seeks nominations and comments on all tracts within the NPR-A, only tracts available for leasing will be offered in the sale. Offering all tracts allows industry to provide information to aid in determining which areas to potentially open for leasing that are currently closed.
“Offering all tracts for nomination is in response to the Secretary’s Order and will jump-start Alaskan energy production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska,” said Katharine MacGregor, Acting Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management. “The information provided during this nomination process will help in the review of the current Integrated Activity Plan to ensure it contains an appropriate balance of promoting development while protecting surface resources. Oil and gas lease sales help strengthen American energy independence, promote domestic energy production, and support local job growth.”
The BLM’s all-of-the-above approach to energy development includes oil and gas, coal, strategic minerals and renewable sources, which can all be developed on public lands.
To inform which tracts will be available for the oil and gas lease sale, BLM Alaska will consider the results from the Call for Nominations and Comments, existing natural resource and environmental data, the location of existing leases, multiple-use conflicts, resource potential, industry interest, and other available information. Comments can be submitted to:
State Director, Bureau of Land Management
Alaska State Office
222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13
Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7504
A map showing available areas is available at the BLM Alaska NPR-A Oil and Gas Lease Sale web page.