Alaska's DNR to Launch O&G Lease Sale for North Slope Area

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Oil and Gas (DO&G) will offer lands for competitive oil and gas leasing in North Slope Areawide 2009 (NS 2009). The NS 2009 sale will be held in Anchorage beginning at 9:00 a.m., October 28, 2009, Dena’ina Civic Convention Center, 600 W. 7th Avenue, Anchorage.

The North Slope Areawide sale area encompasses a gross area of approximately 5.1 million acres that are divided into 1,225 tracts ranging in size from 640 to 5,760 acres. These tracts are located entirely within the North Slope Borough between the Canning River and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on the East and the Colville River and National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPRA) on the West. The southern boundary of the sale area is the Umiat baseline. The northern fringe of the sale area is set back from the Beaufort Sea to exclude any tide or submerged lands. Activities resulting from this sale may affect the native villages of Barrow, Nuiqsut, and Kaktovik, and the community of Deadhorse.

DO&G has prepared a regional tract map that displays the location of all tracts within the sale area. Only State-owned lands and lands jointly-owned by the State of Alaska and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) that were available on September 8, 2009 may be leased in NS 2009. Lands that are conveyed to the state or that become available after that date will be offered in a future North Slope Areawide sale. The tract map does not show detailed land ownership or land under lease. Bidders are cautioned to verify state title or land available for leasing within the tracts prior to bidding.

The exact amount of the net leaseable acreage in each tract will not be determined until a bid is received for the tract. Following the sale, DO&G will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the lands within the tracts that received bids to determine what lands are available for lease. This process may take several months to complete. Acreage not owned by the State, already subject to an oil and gas lease, or clouded by title claims will be excluded from the leased area.

State/ASRC Acreage

The State and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) executed a Settlement Agreement in 1991. In that agreement, the State and ASRC agreed to joint ownership for the purposes of oil and gas leasing within the settlement area. The boundary of the State/ASRC Settlement Agreement is shown on the regional tract map for NS 2009. Any tracts containing jointly-owned acreage determined to be available as of September 8, 2009 will be included in the NS 2009 sale.

State/ASRC tracts 918, 921, 924, and 927 appear to contain acreage that is not currently under lease.

Tract Deletions and Deferrals

DNR has deferred all or a portion of Tracts 925, 936, 1145, and 1146 from NS 2009. All or a portion of the unleased acreage within these tracts is not fully conveyed under the State/ASRC Settlement Agreement. DO&G is actively working to resolve the title issues in order to offer this acreage in a future lease sale.

DNR has deferred all unleased acreage in Tracts 734, 743, 744, 890 thru 892, 898 thru 904, and 907 thru 916 in the Point Thomson and surrounding area. These tracts will not be offered for lease in this sale, but may be included in future lease sales.

The State reserves the right to delete or defer any additional acreage or tracts from the sale at any time prior to issuance of the lease.