ANCHORAGE — Following President Obama’s direction to hold annual oil and gas lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), BLM-Alaska State Director Bud Cribley announced today that the agency will hold the annual and gas lease sale on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Anchorage, AK. The lease sale will include 408 tracts and cover approximately 4.5 million acres in the NPR-A.
The 2013 lease sale is the ninth since 1999. Total bids received for the eight prior sales totaled more than $286 million. Currently, 185 leases cover more than 1.5 million acres in the NPR-A. Tracts available for lease are consistent with the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan finalized in February.
The Notice of Sale was published today in the Federal Register. The draft determination and a map of tracts to be offered by the sale are posted at www.blm.gov/ak.
“The energy resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska are essential to meeting our nation’s energy demands and will enhance domestic energy production and decrease dependency on foreign oil sources,” said Cribley. “The November sale is in line with the President’s direction to continue to expand domestic energy production, safely and responsibly.”
The BLM sought public input on tract nominations from lands in the NPR-A planning areas that are not currently leased or deferred from leasing and selected the tracts based on evaluation of comments received, natural resource information, resource potential, industry interest, and subsistence values. The comment period ran from June 3 through July 18.
Following President Obama’s direction in May, 2011 that annual oil and gas lease sales be conducted in the NPR-A, BLM offered 3 million acres in a lease sale last November that generated $898,900 through the lease of 14 tracts including more than 160,000 acres.
Only exploratory drilling has occurred within the NPR-A to date. On July 22, 2013, ConocoPhillips submitted an application with BLM for issuance of a right-of-way grant and related authorizations to support development of petroleum resources at the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit; this project would facilitate the first production of oil from federal lands in the NPR-A.