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

Bear Head LNG exempted from 2012 Canadian environmental act

02/16/2015 Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary Bear Head LNG Corp. received notice from the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency (CEAA) tha...

BLM decision clears way for first NPR-A federal oil production

02/16/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth One project (GMT1), which cleared the way ...

Northern Territory selects Inpex in bid for onshore exploration

02/16/2015 Australia’s Northern Territory government has selected Inpex Corp. for onshore oil and gas exploration in the Beetaloo basin, southeast of Darwin.

EPA offers new, twisted excuse to stall Keystone XL

02/16/2015 Anyone puzzled by the delay in approval of the Keystone XL pipeline border crossing-running 6 years now, and counting-should read the Obama adminis...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations' other problems

02/16/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

Real climate change

02/16/2015

"Climate change is real and not a hoax."

BOEM publishes second final SEIS for 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale

02/13/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a fresh supplemental environmental impact statement for a Chukchi Sea federal oil and gas sale o...

Horn Petroleum to reduce Puntland exploration program

02/13/2015 Horn Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC, will reduce its presence in Bosaso, Puntland (Somalia), and will “refrain from any operational activity and as...

Alaska LNG project partners file resource reports with FERC

02/12/2015 A series of draft environmental and socioeconomic reports for the Alaska LNG project have been submitted to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commis...
White Papers

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

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

When Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

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