Shell Bids High: $2.1B for 275 Blocks Offshore Alaska

Royal Dutch Shell plc is the apparent high bidder on 275 lease blocks in the Feb. 6, 2008 U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea, offshore northwest Alaska. Shell's high bids totaled U.S. $2.1 billion.

"We are committed to exploration for new oil and gas in high potential basins," said David Lawrence, Shell executive vice president exploration. "Our entry into the Chukchi Sea, combined with our lease holdings in the Beaufort Sea, further solidifies our position in Alaska, which has the potential to become a new heartland for Shell. These new positions come on top of our previously announced plans for exploration investment in 2008."

He concluded, "We believe that success in the Alaska offshore also carries with it great potential for the state, including new job opportunities and new oil for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. We will continue to apply our experience and technology to safe and responsible exploration in the Alaska offshore. The results of this sale underscore Shell's commitment to benefit local communities, while respecting their way of life. We can find common solutions to develop this important domestic resource."

Shell currently holds an equity position in 179 lease blocks in Alaska's Beaufort Sea. In 2006 and again in 2007, Shell completed seismic programs in both basins, including the first 3-D seismic ever conducted in the Beaufort and Chukchi.

Shell was a leader in the prior exploration activity in the Chukchi Sea in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Shell operated four of the five exploration wells drilled offshore in the area in that period.