Dollars, acres and bidders were all noteworthy when the state opened bids at its first ever North Slope Foothills areawide oil and gas lease sale as well as a Cook Inlet areawide sale in Anchorage May 9.
The state received 184 bids for 170 tracts in the Foothills sale, and with 979,200 acres receiving bids. Division of Oil and Gas Director Mark Myers said this was the most acreage the state has ever sold in a single sale. The total of apparent high bids for the Foothills sale was $10,720,940.80.
The sale also drew two new players: Petro-Canada and Burlington Resources.
Petro-Canada (Alaska) Inc. took all the tracts on which it bid, and with 56 of 170 tracts walked away with apparently the largest amount of acreage. The company paid $2.47 million, 23 percent of the high bids.
A 50-50 partnership of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and AEC Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. took the second largest number of leases, 36, for $2.2 million, 20.1 percent of the high bids.
They were closely followed by new bidder "5051 Alaska Inc.," a legal entity set up by Burlington Resources to bid in this sale, which took 32 tracts for $1.99 million, 18.6 percent of dollars bid.
Union Oil Company of California took 18 tracts, but also spent $2.99 million, almost 28 percent of the high bids at the sale, and had the high per-acre bid at $147.74 an acre.
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. took 17 tracts for just under $551,500, 5.2 percent of high bids, and a 50-50 partnership of Phillips and Chevron took nine tracts for just under $500,000, 4.2 percent of high bids. John Sutherland took a single tract for $37,100 and R3 Exploration, which also has National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska acreage, took one tract for $31,600.
In the Cook Inlet sale, the state received 31 bids for 30 tracts, 135,040 acres, from six bidders and attracted one new bidder, Saddleback Resources LLC of Irving, Texas, which also placed the highest bid per acre in the Cook Inlet sale at $22.18.
Escopeta Production-Alaska Inc. topped the Cook Inlet bidder list, taking all 14 tracts on which it bid for a total of $776,217.60, 63.9 percent of the Cook Inlet total apparent high bids.
Saddleback Resources took the five tracts on which it bid for $214,775, 17.7 percent of total apparent high bids.
Richard Wagner took seven of eight tracts on which he bid for $125,049.60, 10.3 percent of apparent high bid dollars in the sale.
R. L. Craig took two tracts for $38,989.40, 3.2 percent of apparent high bid dollars. Forest Oil Corp. and Union Oil Company of California each took one tract, Forest paying $30,355.20, 2.5 percent of high bids and Unocal paying $29,664, 2.4 percent of high bids.