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First Oil & Gas Lease Sale in ANWR Garners $14.4 Million in High Bids

by | Jan 6, 2021 | Government, Oil & Gas

The Dalton Highway connects the North Slope to the rest of Alaska; it extends to Deadhorse, which is approximately 60 miles west of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo 63706501 © PorbitalDreamstime.com

An oil and gas lease sale in the 1002 area of the Alaska National Wildlife refuge has garnered extensive conversation and debate, though ultimately the bid results were in some ways underwhelming.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources released the bid results on Wednesday, January 6.

Twenty-two tracts were offered in the sale, but only thirteen completed bids were offered on eleven total tracts.

Of those, eleven bids were made by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), one by Knik Arm Services, and one by Regenerate Alaska.

AIDEA won nine of its eleven bids:

  • Tract 16 | 57,507 Acres | $1.4 million
  • Tract 17 | 43,876 Acres | $1.1 million
  • Tract 22 | 56,168 Acres | $1.2 million
  • Tract 23 | 58,830 Acres | $1.5 million
  • Tract 24 | 58,176 Acres | $1.5 million
  • Tract 27 | 52,447 Acres | $1.3 million
  • Tract 30 | 46,791 Acres | $1.2 million
  • Tract 31 | 53,546 Acres | $1.3 million

Knik Arm Services won the lease for Tract 25 (48,603 acres) with a $1.6 million bid, and Regenerate Alaska won the lease for Tract 29 (23,446 acres) by bidding $771 million, or approximately $33.38 per acre, the highest per acre bid of the sale.

The total acreage of the successful bids is 552,802, and the successful high bids total $14.4 million.

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Kara Moriarty, president and CEO of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, says, “Today’s lease sale was a historic event and decades in the making… While the results may not have been as robust as we might have expected, industry still supports future access to this area. Today’s sale reflects the brutal economic realities the oil and gas industry continues to face after the unprecedented events of 2020, coupled with ongoing regulatory uncertainty.”

She continues to say, “ANWR still has a role to play in helping the country remain energy independent while providing future economic opportunities for thousands of Alaskans. The state’s involvement through AIDEA helps reduce future uncertainty and keeps the process of exploring and developing ANWR moving forward.”

Coastal Plain 2021 lease sale.

US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

AIDEA is a public corporation owned by the state, created in 1967 by the Alaska Legislature “in the interests of promoting the health, security, and general welfare of all the people of the state, and a public purpose to increase job opportunities and otherwise to encourage the economic growth of the state, including the development of its natural resources.”

According to AIDEA Executive Director Alan Weitzner, “By acquiring these tracts, Alaska preserves the right to responsibly develop its natural resources. This will create new, good-paying jobs on the North Slope and generate revenue for the local economies of Alaska’s Arctic and the state’s general fund.”

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