DNR Schedules 2011 Fall Oil and Gas Lease Sales
(Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Oil and Gas is preparing to offer leases on state-owned acreage in the Beaufort Sea, on the North Slope and in the North Slope foothills in October 2011.
Consistent with the state’s effort to boost oil development, the lease sale terms are expected to include conditions and options not previously seen in lease sales for these areas. For the same reason, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) intends to aggressively market its offerings, which will include tracts bordering the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“In Alaska, we have a massive resource base, a favorable political and investment climate, particularly as we continue to pursue tax reform, and a strong commitment to environmental protection,” said DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who testified to Congress in April and early June about Alaska’s critical role in the nation’s domestic energy supply.
“Our offering of these tracts is in line with the Parnell Administration’s goal to increase Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) throughput to 1 million barrels a day within a decade,” Sullivan said.
Undeveloped resources on state land include smaller pools of conventional oil, heavy and viscous oil and potentially enormous shale oil deposits. For example, a similar lease sale conducted by the division last fall resulted in the leasing of large blocks of state land for shale oil exploration.
The state’s five-part strategy to achieve the governor’s 1-million-barrel goal includes: 1) Enhancing Alaska’s global competitiveness, chiefly through oil-tax reforms and, as appropriate, new infrastructure projects and royalty relief; 2) Ensuring an efficient, reliable permitting system, for which reforms are already underway; 3) Catalyzing the next phases of North Slope development, including untapped federal onshore and offshore resources and development of the state’s massive natural gas, conventional and unconventional oil resources; 4) Building the partnerships necessary for development of Alaska’s resources while protecting the state’s interests and natural environment; and 5) Promoting Alaska’s resources to world markets.
Reaching the governor’s goal will require increased access to and production from federal lands, and to that end, the Parnell administration has asked for cooperation from Congress and the Obama Administration. The state will take a leadership role by catalyzing the next phases of development on its own land and offering state leases very close to highly-prospective federal lands, such as the 1002 Area, Sullivan said.
The lease sales for the Beaufort Sea, North Slope, and North Slope foothills are tentatively scheduled for October 26, 2011 in the Wilda Marston Theatre at the Z.J. Loussac Library located at 3600 Denali Street in Anchorage.
Recognizing the needs of its industry partners to carefully plan for the expenditures and commitments of a lease sale, the Division of Oil and Gas will release details of the sale terms and conditions at the earliest possible time and in advance of the September 11, 2011 deadline required by AS 38.05.945(a)(4).
The public notice and accompanying documents including sale announcements, instructions to bidders, tract maps and bid forms will be made available on the Division’s website at: http://www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil/. Current lease activity reports, updated monthly, are also available on the Division’s website at: http://www.dog.dnr.alaska.gov/products/publications/leaseactivity/leaseactivity.htm