PUBLISHED: 5:25 PM on Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Alaska oil and gas sale raked in $31 million
Five companies submitted winning bids for the right to develop oil and gas lease tracts in the federal petroleum reserve managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope at a lease sale in Anchorage on Sept. 24.

The winning bids, totaling $30,961,806, cover 150 tracts on approximately 1,656,574 acres of the 23 million-acre reserve. There are already 335 leases totaling 3,086,492 acres in the NPR-A.

Winning bids were received from Anadarko Petroleum Corp; ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.; Petro-Canada Alaska, Inc.; FEX L.P.; and Petro-Hunt, LLC. The single highest bid of $642,926, or $40.40 per acre, was offered by Petro-Hunt LLC for lands from the Northwest and Northeast planning areas on both sides of the Ikpikpuk River.

"The companies who submitted bids today have demonstrated their interest in developing new sources of oil and gas that will reduce our nation's dependency on imported oil," said BLM-Alaska State Director Tom Lonnie. "Development of these energy resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska will help meet America's energy needs through domestic production."

The State of Alaska will receive 50 percent of the bid receipts, or $15,480,903 generated by the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska lease sale. The lease sale offered 450 tracts totaling 4.8 million acres within the Northwest and Northeast planning areas of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 2002 that the entire petroleum reserve could contain as much as 9.3 billion barrels of mean technically recoverable oil and 59.7 trillion cubic feet of mean technically recoverable natural gas.