Thirteen groups placed 132 bids on 122 tracts in the Beaufort Sea and on Alaska’s North Slope and North Slope foothills Wednesday, according to preliminary results from the state Department of Natural Resources.
The 122 tracts totaled 310,500 acres. Winning bids totaled $14.2 million, of which $11.5 million came in bids for North Slope parcels. This was the largest sum drawn by North Slope tracts since areawide sales began in 1998.
The Beaufort Sea sale brought the state close to $1.8 million, the fifth largest by dollar amount in that area.
Bidders included North Slope majors as well as familiar smaller companies and at least two new players, the DNR said.
The foothills, which has seen no bidding in the past 3 years, drew eight bids, the fourth best result ever by bonus bids for that area. The foothills region has seen sporadic exploration, and several large prospects have been identified in recent decades.
Bill Barron, director of the Alaska Division of Oil & Gas, said, “We are encouraged to see bidding in the Foothills region as well as the potentially gas-prone area in the southern part of the North Slope sale area, which may have an associated oil play.”
DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan said, “In the past 2 years, DNR has undertaken significant efforts to get the word out about the North Slope’s world-class resources and encourage investment in Alaska. We are seeing fruits from our efforts and we plan to continue this important work.”
The division will verify that winning bidders are qualified and the bids are valid. Preliminary, post-adjudication results are expected to be available on the division’s website (http://dog.dnr.alaska.gov/) by Nov. 9.