BOEM starts process for proposed 2019 Beaufort Sea lease sale

April 9, 2018
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it will publish a call in the Mar. 30 Federal Register for information and nominations for a proposed 2019 Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it will publish a call in the Mar. 30 Federal Register for information and nominations for a proposed 2019 Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale.

It emphasized that the sale would be part of the draft proposed 2019-24 US Outer Continental Shelf planning program announced in January, which has not become final.

Comments will be accepted through Apr. 30, the US Department of the Interior agency said.

“Available information indicates that the Beaufort Sea possesses great oil and gas potential,” BOEM Alaska OCS Region Director James Kendall said in Anchorage.

“It also contains unique, environmentally sensitive areas important to the subsistence needs of the region’s Alaska Native communities. This process will help us identify not only the areas that can be safely and responsibly developed, but also those areas that should be protected for wildlife and traditional uses,” Kendall said.

BOEM is seeking comments from the oil and gas industry on interest in the areas proposed for leasing, including nominations or indications of interest in specific lease blocks within the area.

The agency also wants information from any interested party relating to particular geological, environmental, biological, archaeological and socioeconomic conditions, use conflicts, or other situations which could affect the potential leasing and development of particular areas.

Submitted information will be used to help determine what specific blocks within a program area may be offered for leasing, prioritize areas with potential for oil and gas development, develop potential lease terms and conditions, identify potential use conflicts and potential mitigation measures, and assist in BOEM’s planning and environmental review process, the agency said.

Once the call is completes and comments have been analyzed, BOEM said it would proceed with the next step—area identification—in which will develop a recommendation as to the area proposed for leasing and environmental analysis.

Upon approval by the US Interior Secretary, the agency will then publish in the Federal Register the proposed area identified for possible leasing, it said.