The Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office held its fourth Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale today, drawing 21 bids on 17 tracts of the 43 offered. This is about twice as many bids as for any of the Trustís previous sales, said Mike Franger, Trust senior resource manager, at the bid opening in Anchorage.
Unofficial totals from the bid opening showed the Trust drawing bids on 80,545 acres from seven bidders, for a total of $768,042.24 in apparent high bids.
Bidders included Cook Inlet operators Aurora Gas, Forest Oil, Marathon Oil and Unocal; two individual bidders, Monte J. Allen and Clyde T. Boyer; and Storm Cat Energy Corp., a Calgary-based company new to Alaska.
Forest Oil Corp. accounted for almost a third of the saleís apparent high bids, $247,515.05, taking 17 tracts on the west side of Cook Inlet west of Point MacKenzie. This is an area with no recent drilling, although three wells were plugged and abandoned in the area in the 1960s.
Storm Cat Energy was the second highest-dollar bidder, with $203,901.41 for two leases near Big Lake in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Clyde T. Boyer was the third highest bidder, $186,276.59 for two tracts on the Kenai Peninsula north and northeast of Nikiski.
Aurora Gas took one tract on the west side of Cook Inlet northwest of Tyonek for $45,312, in an area where Aurora holds considerable acreage.
Monte J. Allen took two tracts for $39,349.40 on the Kenai Peninsula, northeast and southeast of Kenai.
Unocal took one tract in that same area for $27,783.97.
Editorís note: See full story in the Nov. 14 edition of Petroleum News.