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Alaska to Offer Beaufort Sea, North Slope Acreage in Dec. 14 Oil/NatGas Lease Sale

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas will offer more than 5,000 tracts of state-owned acreage for oil and natural gas leasing Dec. 14 in the Beaufort Sea Areawide 2016W, North Slope Areawide 2016W and North Slope Foothills Areawide 2016 lease sales.

The Beaufort Sea Areawide includes 591 tracts ranging in size from 530 to 5,760 acres within the North Slope Borough and consisting of state-owned tide and submerged lands in the Beaufort Sea between the Canadian border and Point Barrow, AK. The northern boundary of the sale is along the federal Alaska Outer Continental Shelf, while the southern fringe includes state-owned uplands lying between the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Some tracts are jointly owned by the state and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC).

The North Slope Areawide includes 3,137 tracts ranging in size from 640 to 5,760 acres within the North Slope Borough between the Canning River and ANWR on the east and the Colville River and NPR-A on the west. The southern boundary of the sale area is the Umiat Meridian baseline. Some tracts are jointly owned by the state and ASRC.

The North Slope Foothills Areawide is divided into 1,347 tracts ranging in size from 480 to 5,760 acres located between ANWR and NPR-A. The northern boundary of the sale area is the Umiat Meridian baseline and the southern boundary is the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

The deadline to submit sealed bids is Dec. 12 at the Atwood Building, 550 W 7th Ave., Suite 800, Anchorage, AK. The public bid opening is scheduled for Dec. 14 at the same address.

In a similar lease sale two years ago, competition for tracts in the same three areas was high, drawing the third-highest amount in state history (see Daily GPINov. 20, 2014).

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker recently wrote to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell nominating the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and Cook Inlet for inclusion in the 2017-2022 proposed Outer Continental Shelf lease sale program (see Daily GPIOct. 7). If Jewell accepts the state's nominations, the state would use the federal leasing process to facilitate private-sector investment and participation in the lease sales.

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