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Begich Statement on NPR-A Lease Sale

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today’s oil and gas lease sale for BLM-managed lands in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) generated 14 bids from two companies and close to $900,000 in revenue.

“Today’s lease sale represents continued progress on development of NPR-A,” said Begich. “I’m pleased to see that companies are investing and working through the federal process to bring Alaska’s natural resources to market.

“This is second year in a row that BLM and Department of Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar have kept their commitment to offering large areas of the NPR-A for lease,” Begich said.  “The resources from leases can be an important bridge while we focus on developing the enormous resources of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Coupled with recent progress at Point Thomson, we’re continuing to move forward on filling the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and creating good-paying jobs for Alaskans.”

The Nov. 7 sale included 400 tracts and approximately 4.5 million acres in the NPR-A. Although only exploratory drilling has taken place in NPR-A to date, permits were issued to ConocoPhillips for development of its CD-5 field in late December 2011.

“I will continue working with the Department of Interior and the president’s Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting to ensure Alaska’s resources are developable and make it to market for the betterment of residents of the North Slope and Alaska,” Begich said.

The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that there are 896 million barrels (mmbbls) of mean technically recoverable oil and 53 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of mean technically recoverable natural gas within the NPR-A.

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