Anchorage — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today generated $788,680 at an oil and gas lease sale from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). The State of Alaska will receive 50 percent of the bid receipts, or $394,340.
“Today’s sale advances the Administration’s strategy to enhance U.S. energy security by increasing safe and responsible domestic oil production,” said BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley. “BLM takes a balanced approach to energy development in the NPR-A to protect habitat that’s critically important to Alaska Native subsistence and to our nation’s conservation heritage.”
The sale offered 143 tracts comprising about 1.4 million acres. One company, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., submitted six bids for the right to develop oil and gas lease tracts in the reserve.
In 2011, President Obama directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct annual oil and gas lease sales in the NPR-A. Lease sales had previously been held every two years. Today’s sale is the eleventh since 1999. Total bids received for the 10 prior sales equal more than $261 million. Currently, 210 leases cover 1.7 million acres in the NPR-A. Tracts available for lease are consistent with the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan and the Record of Decision signed in February 2013.
The highest bid of $199,706 or $31.91 per acre, was offered today for tract 2015-H-165.
A map and table with complete sale results by tract appear on the BLM Alaska website at: www.blm.gov/ak.
Last month, the BLM approved the first production well from federal lands in the NPR-A, granting a drilling permit and offering a right-of-way grant for the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit development project, which would facilitate production and transportation of oil to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Nearly the size of Indiana, the NPR-A, located on Alaska’s North Slope, is the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States. By law, the BLM administers the NPR-A for the purposes of oil and gas development along with protection of areas containing significant subsistence, recreational, fish and wildlife or historical or scenic value. The Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 as amended, which transferred the NPR-A from the Navy to the Department of the Interior, mandates protection of these special areas while also providing for expeditious development of oil and gas resources.