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State receives 92 bids, nets $5.4 million in Northern Alaska lease sales

(Anchorage, AK) – Investors demonstrated significant, continuing interest in obtaining new, state-owned oil and gas leases for exploration on the North Slope during today’s annual oil and gas lease sales.

“Today’s North Slope lease sale results are very encouraging and we look forward to seeing new exploration on these hydrocarbon-rich lands” said Acting Commissioner Joe Balash. “The robust participation we’ve seen in our lease sales over the last four years is a critical step in reaching our long-term goal of boosting oil production in Alaska.”

Division of Oil and Gas Deputy Director Jonne Slemons opened bids at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage this morning. Preliminary results show that the division received 90 bids from eight bidding groups on 89 tracts in the North Slope Areawide sale, and two bids from one bidding group on two tracts in the Beaufort Sea Areawide sale. No bids were received for the North Slope Foothills Areawide sale.

Preliminary results show that winning bonus bids totaled approximately $5.4 million for the North Slope and Beaufort sales combined. The amount of land leased was 162,163 acres in the North Slope and 5,120 acres in the Beaufort. The most active bidder was Nordaq Energy Inc., which submitted bids on 52 tracts on the North Slope.

In the past several years, bidders have obtained leases on much of the state-owned acreage on the North Slope and in the Beaufort Sea that is considered highly prospective for oil and gas development.

“It is a clear sign that investors have great confidence in the future of development on the North Slope when they invest in additional oil and gas leases. They continue to see opportunities on our North Slope lands for new oil production to increase oil flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline to market,” Balash said.

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