Salazar announces expedited NPR-A lease sale by yearend

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 17 -- The US Bureau of Land Management will accelerate a lease sale within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska so that it will take place before the end of 2011, with subsequent lease sales annually, US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar said. BLM will publish a Federal Register notice in the near future inviting interested parties to comment on or nominate possible tracts within the vast area on Alaska’s North Slope.

Salazar’s announcement came as the US House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Minerals Subcommittee held a hearing on a bill to improve access to oil and gas resources within the reserve. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the full committee’s chairman and HR 2150’s sponsor, said requiring annual NPR-A lease sales was a good step, but it would not be enough if other federal agencies block and delay permits for the necessary roads, bridges, and pipelines to get the oil and gas out of the reserve.

In his written testimony, Joe Balash, deputy commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, said Alaska considers leasing within NPR-A a logical first step in expanding oil and gas development on federally controlled state land. He said in his written testimony that possibly the most ambitious feature of Hastings’ bill is its call for approved rights-of-way for roads, pipelines, and other surface infrastructure to ensure all leases are within 25 miles of the state’s approved route plans.

But Deputy BLM Director Mike Pool said Interior was concerned about several of HR 2150’s provisions, including a requirement that the secretary consult with the US Department of Transportation on all surface disturbance instead of only major roads and pipelines; a requirement that the secretary ensure that other federal permitting agencies meet the bill’s deadlines; and an implication that all requested permits must be issued regardless of a proposed action’s potential impacts or the availability of alternatives.

Also testifying were US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.), the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s ranking minority member; Charles T. Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; Tim Sharp, business manager and secretary-treasurer of the Alaska District Council of Laborers in Anchorage; and Eric Myers, policy director of Audubon Alaska in Anchorage.

Salazar also said he would issue a secretarial memorandum directing the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement to issue a notice to lessees and operators describing how operators can seek a 1-year extension of qualifying offshore leases.

He said to qualify, leaseholders must demonstrate that there was no oil or gas production on the lease as of May 15, 2011; that the lease is in deep water (greater than 500 ft); and that the lease is scheduled to expire on or before Dec. 31, 2015. The extensions will give operators and lessees more time to proceed with exploration and development of their tracts while fully complying with new safety, environmental, spill response, and containment requirements, Salazar said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Court rejects BP, Anadarko Macondo appeals

06/30/2015 BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have lost separate appeals to the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision expanding their financial...

Senate Democrats outline broad energy goals to nation’s governors

06/30/2015 Forty-five US Senate Democrats outlined broad energy policy goals including more clean energy technology investments, infrastructure improvement, a...

Group suggests principles for Alberta royalty review

06/29/2015 The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has suggested that four principles guide Alberta in an oil and gas royalty review planned by...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected