The state of Alaska pushed back the date of its annual Beaufort Sea, North Slope and North Slope Foothills lease sale to possibly expand the sale’s North Slope acreage offering as well as provide prospective bidders additional time to prepare.

The sale, which is typically held in October, is now tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 7, according to the Division of Oil and Gas of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The sale is planned to be held at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

The lease offering is expected to be one of the largest in the country this year, DNR said. Combined, the three lease sale areas cover 14.7 million acres, about the size of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut combined.

“The state of Alaska is continuing to aggressively market this fall’s huge North Slope lease offering to potential investors,” said DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “We have had indications of interest from certain companies, and we want to provide them with ample opportunity to prepare for possible participation in the upcoming lease sale.”

Sullivan said the marketing of the sale is critical to boosting North Slope oil production to 1 million b/d within a decade, DNR’s stated goal (see Daily GPI, July 1). “Achieving this ambitious goal will require billions of dollars of new investment,” Sullivan said.

Federal agencies have estimated that state and federal lands on the North Slope contain as much as 40 billion bbl of conventional oil and 236 Tcf of conventional gas. “These estimates do not include the additional billions of barrels of unconventional oil (heavy, viscous, and shale) estimated to be on the North Slope and trillions of cubic feet of unconventional gas (shale and tight gas),” DNR said.

Sale terms and conditions are being finalized, and notices and related documents are to be published publicly by Oct. 23 at

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