NEWS BULLETIN

June 26, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 65June 2003

MMS: No leasing interest in Norton, Hope or Chukchi

The Minerals Management Service said June 26 that it has received no expressions of interest for oil and gas lease sales in the Norton basin, Hope basin or Chukchi Sea in the outer continental shelf offshore Alaska. A call for interest closed June 23.

MMS said the areas are made available for leasing through a “special interest” process that is new to the Alaska Region. The agency's call for information and nominations asked industry to “nominate specific areas where they were willing to commit to exploration.”

“These frontier areas could have a great amount of resources, but because of their remoteness they also have high costs associated with exploring and developing any resources that might be found,” said MMS Regional Director John Goll. “This approach allows us to test interest for access to the area without spending a lot of on a full upfront evaluation. We will ask again next year.”


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