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North Slope Oil and Gas Lease Sales Net $14.2 Million in Winning Bids

(Anchorage, AK) - Preliminary results from today’s Department of Natural Resources oil and gas lease sales for the North Slope, North Slope Foothills and the Beaufort Sea indicate continuing interest in the region’s rich hydrocarbon resources, according to department officials.

The Division of Oil and Gas opened bids at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage this morning. The division received 132 bids on 122 tracts from 13 different bidding groups, encompassing approximately 310,500 acres. Bidders included North Slope majors as well as familiar smaller companies and at least two new players.

Winning bids totaled $14.2 million, $11.5 million of which came from the North Slope sale. This makes the North Slope area lease sale the fourth largest by dollar amount since area-wide lease sales began in 1998. The Beaufort Sea sale netted the state close to $1.8 million, making it the fifth largest by dollar amount in that area.

The North Slope Foothills area, which hasn’t seen any bidding in the past three years, received eight bids, the fourth best result ever by bonus bids for that area.

The Foothills region has seen sporadic exploration for oil and gas and several large prospects have been identified in recent decades.

“We are encouraged to see bidding in the Foothills region as well as the potentially gas-prone area in the southern part of the North Slope sale area, which may have an associated oil play,” said Bill Barron, Division of Oil and Gas Director.

“In the past two years, DNR has undertaken significant efforts to get the word out about the North Slope’s world-class resources and encourage investment in Alaska. We are seeing fruits from our efforts and we plan to continue this important work,” said DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

The Division of Oil and Gas will verify that winning bidders are qualified and the bids are valid. Preliminary, post-adjudication results are expected to be available on the Division’s website (http://dog.dnr.alaska.gov/) by Friday, Nov. 9.

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