Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) Monday issued the final notice of sale for the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lease Sale 202 to be held on April 18 in Anchorage, AK.

The MMS plans to offer about 8.7 million acres offshore Alaska's northern coast in the Beaufort Sea. The sale area extends from the Canadian border on the east to near Barrow on the west., but excludes areas near Barrow and Kaktovik used by the Inupiat for bowhead whale subsistence hunting. Throughout the sale area, the MMS said it will require that any offshore oil and natural gas activity be coordinated with the Inupiat whalers during their subsistence hunt.

The Interior agency estimates that the Beaufort Sea could contain about seven billion barrels of oil and 32 Tcf of natural gas. Lease terms are the same used for the Beaufort Sea Sale 195 that the MMS held in March 2005. The final notice suspends royalties on certain volumes of oil and condensate production, subject to price thresholds, and continues the minimum bid and rental rates that are comparable with state and other federal North Slope oil and gas leasing terms.

To obtain a copy of the final notice, write to Mineral Management Service at 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Anchorage, AK 99503, or send an e-mail to akwebmaster@mms.gov, or call toll-free at (800) 764-2627.

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