Chukchi Sea lease sale set for February 2008

The US government proposed to hold an oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska in February 2008.

Aug 6th, 2007

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 6 -- The US government proposed to hold an oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska in February 2008.

Lease Sale 193 would cover 29 million acres in 95-262 ft of water 25-200 miles off the coast between Barrow, 200 miles west of Prudhoe Bay, to northwest of Cape Lisburne, the US Minerals Management Service said.

The sale area is in arctic waters near the International Date Line, the border with Russia. It would be the first tracts offered in the area since 1991.

MMS estimated that the Chukchi Sea could contain a mean, recoverable 15 billion bbl of oil and 76 tcf of natural gas. The area has no production or infrastructure.

The proposed sale area excludes nearshore waters extending to 25-50 miles from the coast, which includes the near-shore "polynya" through which bowhead and beluga whales, other marine mammals, and marine birds migrate north in the spring and in which local communities subsistence hunt.

All 378 Chukchi Sea leases from the 1998 and 1991 sales have expired, MMS noted.

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