State, federal lease sales in Alaska produce contrasting results

The State of Alaska received a record $121 million in winning bids as 143 companies and investors sought leases in its annual North Slope lease sale on Dec. 6. The US Bureau of Land Management offered 900 tracts covering a record 16,100 sq miles within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska the same day and received 7 bids totaling $1.16 million for 125 sq miles of acreage.

The State of Alaska received a record $121 million in winning bids as 143 companies and investors sought leases in its annual North Slope lease sale on Dec. 6. The US Bureau of Land Management offered 900 tracts covering a record 16,100 sq miles within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska the same day and received 7 bids totaling $1.16 million for 125 sq miles of acreage.

State officials said its ANS sale was the third-largest in dollar terms since area-wide oil and leasing began there in 1998. It was the largest by bid value, netting an average $110/acre, they noted.

“Today’s results are yet another indication the State of Alaska is highly attractive to oil and gas investors around the world, and we are open for business,” said Gov. Bill Walker (I). “I am particularly pleased to see Repsol E&P adding to its promising North Slope portfolio and showing strong interest in exploration south of its existing leases in the Pikka Unit.”

Alaska Oil & Gas Division Director Chantal Walsh said, “Today’s results were stronger than we expected. On state lands, companies have already leased many of the available tracts. And yet for what acreage was available, we received extremely competitive bids. This indicates that companies are interested in exploring in Alaska.”

Of the three areas where leases were offered, the state received 124 bids on 103 tracts for a total of 179,680 acres, with winning bids exceeding $19.9 million for the ANS, and 19 bids on 16 tracts totaling 37,771 acres, with winning bids totaling nearly $1.3 million in the Beaufort Sea. No bids were submitted for tracts in the North Slope Foothills.

In the federal sale, the 7 winning bids were jointly submitted by ConocoPhillips Co. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Leasing within the NPR-A has generated more than $280.9 million in winning bids for nearly 5.6 million acres in 12 sales held since 1999, according to BLM figures.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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