Thursday, November 8, 2012

BLM nets $898,000 in its annual NPR-A lease sale

Tim Bradner
Alaska Journal of Commerce

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management received 14 bids on 160,080 acres of federal oil and gas leases in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska in a lease sale held Nov. 7.

Cash bonus bids totaled $898,900 from two companies, said Ted Murphy, associate state director for the BLM. The agency is responsible for management of the reserve. A state lease sale netted $14.2 million earlier in the day.

Twelve of the bids were submitted by Alaska independent NordAq Energy for tracts in the central part of the petroleum reserve. The other two bids were from Houston-based independent Woodstone Resources in the northeast part of NPR-A.

In a state of Alaska lease sale held earlier Wednesday NordAq acquired 60,000 acres of offshore state leases in Smith Bay, just north of the NPR-A.

Company president Bob Warthen said his company is working on an integrated exploration program for the Smith Bay acreage and the company's onshore federal leases in the

reserve with a target for drilling in 2014.

The Smith Bay state leases are in shallow water. NordAq would build an artificial ice island to support the drilling, Warthen said.

BLM typically holds its annual NPR-A sale orn the same day as the state's North Slope areawide sale, Murphy said. This year the state sale was also help Nov. 7.

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