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The Bureau of Land Management announced on Wednesday that the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A) oil and gas lease sale generated $18.8 million, 50% of which, $9.4 million will be turned over to the state of Alaska.
A total of 92 bids were submitted.
According to BLM, “The sale offered 145 tracts comprising approximately 1.4 million acres. Bids were submitted by a combination of five companies on 67 tracts on 613,000 acres. ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., in combination with Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC, submitted 65 bids for the right to develop oil and gas lease tracts in the reserve. The highest bid of $765,878 was offered today for tract 2016-L-148. A map and table with complete 2016 sale results by tract will appear on the BLM Alaska website at: www.blm.gov/alaska. Last year’s sale offered 1.4 acres divided among 143 tracts in the NPR-A and generated only six bids on 28,589 acres for a total of $788,680.”“We have demonstrated to all stakeholders our ability to move forward with development while also satisfying the needs for conservation. Permitting for the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 oil and gas project and advancement of other nearby development has provided opportunities for further energy production efforts in the NPR-A,” said BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley. “This sale is in line with the Administration’s direction to balance safe and responsible resource development in the NPR-A with protecting the subsistence resources of Alaska Natives and the habitat of world-class wildlife populations.”
There are currently 134 authorized leases in the NPR-A that all together covers over 895,000 acres on the reserve which is the country’s block of federally managed land about the size of Indiana.
Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker applauded the successful lease sales, saying, “This is great news—for the state and the industry. As Alaska grapples with a $3.5 billion deficit, these $17.8 million oil and gas lease sales are the first stage to getting much-needed production in our state.”
“The number of competitive bids the state received shows Alaska is good for business and a stable place to invest,” said John Hendrix, the Governor’s Chief Oil and Gas Advisor.
“These lease sale results shows a continued willingness by companies to invest in Alaska’s tremendous natural resources. This is despite the industry-wide downturn brought on by the continued low price of oil,” said incoming Resources Committee Co-chair Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “I will be watching with interest the exploration activities that result from these leases sales, with the hope that they result in development projects to get Alaska’s oil and gas to market.”
The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas will finalize today’s lease sales in the coming days and post preliminary results of the bidding on its website later this week.