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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced seven new oil and gas leases within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). The leases are the result of a BLM oil and gas lease sale held Nov. 19 that generated $658,978 in bids. The seven tracts encompass 66,650 acres. The new leases are held by ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc./Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. and Nordaq Energy Inc. BLM Alaska has held 10 lease sales since 1999, with bids totaling more than $261 million. The new leases bring the number of oil and gas leases in the NPR-A to 212, covering more than 1.76 million acres. Tracts available for lease are consistent with the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan and a Record of Decision signed in February 2013. BLM Alaska is preparing to solicit the industry soon for nominations for the 2015 NPR-A lease sale. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said the state has doubled the frequency of leasing in the NPR-A during comments a committee hearing in Washington, DC (see Daily GPIFeb. 24). She has often criticized the Obama administration for not opening more of her state's lands to oil and gas exploration. More information about oil and gas leasing within the NPR-A can be found at www.blm.gov/ak.

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