North Slope, Cook Inlet Lease Sales Bring Bidders

The first of several Alaskan lease sales were completed last week, with the most interest in the state's North Slope Foothills region, which ended with 170 tracts sold worth $11.2 million. The Cook Inset sale ended with 30 tracts sold for a total of $1.2 million.

With 184 bids overall in the North Slope Foothills sale, Union Oil Company of California submitted the high bid of $850,982.40 on tract number FH01-0119, worth $147.74 per acre. Overall, the company bid and won 18 tracts worth $2.99 million. Petro-Canada Inc.'s Alaska division won the most number of bids at 56, worth $2.47 million.

Other bidders, the number of bids and their totals included Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and its partner AEC Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., which won 36 tracts worth $2.19 million and 5051 Alaska Inc., which won 32 tracts worth $1.99 million. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. won 17 tracts worth $551,635; Phillips Alaska Inc. and partner Chevron won nine tracts worth $49,856; John W. Sutherland Jr. won one tract worth $36,115 and R3 Exploration Corp. also won one tract worth $31,590.

In the Cook Inlet sale, which had 31 bids overall, the high bid of $97,862.40 was made by Escopeta Production - Alaska Inc., which obtained tract number C12001-0189. The highest bid per acre was submitted by Saddleback Resources Inc., which submitted $22.18 an acre on tract number C12001-0429.

Escopeta won 14 tracts, worth $776,217; Saddleback won five tracts worth $214,771; and Richard E. Wagner won seven tracts worth $125,049. Other bidders included Paul Craig, two tracts, $38,988; Forest Oil Corp., one tract, $30,355; and Union Oil, one tract, $29,664.

Gov. Tony Knowles announced the lease sales in January, which ended a moratorium. They will cover 16 regions in the state and offer 10-year exploration rights (see NGI, Jan. 15). The 16 sales include five in Cook Inlet, with one scheduled for each May through 2005 and another five in the Beaufort Sea and five on the North Slope, with one sale every October. The North Slope Foothills sale last week was a single one for May. Under areawide leasing, which began in 1998, the state offers all available state land within a geographic region. Since it began, the state has held six sales, leasing nearly 1.6 million acres worth $68 million in bonus bids.

To learn more about the leasing schedule, visit the Division of Oil and Gas web site at www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil.

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