Alaska will include a significant amount of previously leased acreage in its North Slope oil and gas lease sale in December, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Oct. 25. Another 200,000 acres will be available in the vicinity of Point Thomson and in the Beaufort Sea because of lease expirations and other administrative actions, it said.
“We expect interest in these areas and hope that exploration will soon follow,” observed Bill Barron, director of the department’s oil and gas division. He said the upcoming Beaufort Sea, ANS, and North Slope Foothills sale would encompass about 14.7 million acres in the northern part of the state. Bids will be received on Dec. 5 and opened on Dec. 7, Barron said.
The lease sale will make available eight tracts formerly part of the Point Thomson unit and 22 tracts that were previously deferred due to their proximity to the unit, according to DNR. These 30 tracts increase the available acreage by 72,000 acres, it said.
Forty-five tracts, which previously were included in the proposed Greater Bullen Unit west of Point Thomson, also will be available and will increase the available acreage by 106,540 acres, it continued. Five leases from the previously proposed Donkel Oil & Gas Unit in the Beaufort Sea, north of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, have expired, making an additional 14,403 acres available for the December sale, DNR said.
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