The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has finished evaluating all 133 lease applications received at the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska oil and gas lease sale held in May and has received 14 notices of staking for exploration wells on leased tracts.
BLM spokesman Ed Bovy said July 29 that all of the lease applications had cleared their final evaluation and either are being issued or have been issued.
Bovy said Aug. 9 that BLM has received notices of staking on those leases from both ARCO Alaska Inc. and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. Eight of the notices were from ARCO, six from BP. BLM expects to receive applications for drilling permits for only about half of the locations staked, he said.
The tracts the companies are looking at for exploration wells generally conform with the tracts receiving the highest per-acre bids at the NPR-A lease sale BLM held in May, with wells staked in seven of the 10 highest priced tracts.
Both companies are targeting the Jurassic at about 8,500 feet.
All of the tracts staked are in the northern, higher-value, portion of the NPR-A sale area. The locations ARCO staked are on tract H-042 on the eastern border of the sale area and H-045, an adjacent tract, and on H-050, H-051, H-053 and H-070, still on the eastern side of the sale area but as much as 12 miles into NPR-A. The BP staked tracts, H-111, H-112, H-113, H-114, H-115, H-118, H-136 and H-139, are in the north central sale area, southeast of Teshekpuk Lake and some 24 miles from the NPR-A border — farther west and farther north than the ARCO stakings.
A BLM map of the lease sale tracts is available on the Internet: http://www.ak.blm.gov/special/leasemap.gif