US to Hold August Lease Sale for Onshore Alaska O&G

(Dow Jones Newswires), July 12, 2010

The U.S. Interior Department that it plans to hold a lease sale in August for land-based oil and gas development on about 1.8 million acres in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve area on the North Slope.

The agency's Bureau of Land Management will open sealed bids for the lease sale Aug. 11 in Anchorage, the agency said. The agency will offer 190 tracts of land in the northeastern part of the NPRA that are close to existing oil production infrastructure and have known reserves.

The BLM, which oversees natural resource extraction and energy activities on federal land, has been holding lease sales in the NPRA about every two years. In 2008 the agency leased about 1.7 million acres of land for a total of about $35.7 million to ConocoPhillips, Anadarko, Talisman and other companies, according to BLM documents.

The current lease sale won't include about 430,000 acres of land in and around Teshekpuk Lake, which provides important habitat for migrating birds including black brant, Canada geese and greater white-fronted geese, the agency said. The department is also reserving land near the lake for caribou populations.

Currently there are 310 authorized oil and gas leases on more than 3 million acres in the NPRA, the agency said.

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