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BLM, Alaska report successful ANS lease sales

The latest federal lease sale within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska generated about $3.6 million in bids for 17 tracts on 141,739 acres, the US Bureau of Land Management announced on Dec. 7. Three companies—70 & 148 LLC, Woodstone Resources LLC, and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.—submitted the three winning bids, BLM said following the lease sale in Anchorage.

Hours earlier, Alaska’s oil and gas division said it received 179 bids totaling about $14.1 million for 335,289 acres from 13 producers for Alaska North Slope tracts adjacent to NPR-A, and 78 apparent high bids totaling about $6.9 million for 281,095 acres from 11 producers for Beaufort Sea tracts.

Federal and state officials separately said that their sales reflected industry interest in oil resources within the state. They came 2 days after the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Fish and Wildlife Service reached an agreement with ConocoPhillips to mitigate environmental impacts from a proposed pipeline and river crossing within NPR-A.

“As industry begins to build infrastructure and explore and develop oil and gas in this area of the North Slope of Alaska, we expect to harness the energy and economic benefits of the NPR-A for our nation,” US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “In support of [President Barack Obama’s] energy priorities, this lease sale in the NPR-A is an important part of our efforts to develop domestic resources on public lands safely and responsibly.”

Gov. Sean Parnell (R) said Alaska’s lease sale with more than $21 million in bids was among the most successful in recent history. “They were an important, positive step that attracted more investment to the North Slope,” he said. “Reversing the declining through [the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System] and getting to 1 million b/d is critical to our economy and to the nation’s energy security.”

BLM said 70 & 148 submitted the single highest bid in the NPR-A sale—$420,299 or $101.03/acre—for Tract H-160 near the Colville River adjacent to tracts that Alaska offered in its sale. 70 & 148, which is named for Prudhoe Bay’s latitude and longitude, is a subsidiary of Armstrong Oil & Gas Inc. in Denver.

Alaska’s oil and gas division said that Repsol E&P submitted the single highest bid, $839,372.80, for a tract in the North Slope portion of its sale, while AVGC LLC’s was the single highest bid ($529,280) in the Beaufort Sea portion. Pioneer Natural Resources Co. paid the most per acre for a tract in each portion of the Alaska sale ($876/acre in both).

“One of our immediate goals for this lease sale was to increase the number and type of investors and companies investing in Alaska,” said Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “We are pleased that the sale was successful in this respect, but there is certainly an opportunity to do more in the future to attract additional investment.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.


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