NEWS BULLETIN

July 05, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 58July 2005

MMS delays Cook Inlet lease sale to 2007

The U.S. Minerals Management Service has postponed a Cook Inlet lease sale scheduled for May 2006 due to lack of interest.

The agency said today that Cook Inlet Sale 199 has been postponed until May 2007.

MMS requested comments on the sale earlier in the year, and said it confirmed that companies were not interested in a sale in 2006.

“We will evaluate early next year whether we will restart planning for a sale in 2007. If conditions change, we could proceed,” MMS Alaska OCS Regional Director John Goll said in a statement. “The Cook Inlet region faces future shortages in natural gas supplies, and we want to be ready to respond if companies decide to renew exploration offshore,” he said.

May 2004 was the last Cook Inlet sale MMS held and there were no bidders, said MMS Alaska region spokeswoman Robin Lee Cacy. MMS has two active leases in Cook Inlet, she said, 9,766 acres leased in Sale 149 in 1997, tracts which are part of the Cosmopolitan exploration unit off the lower Kenai Peninsula.

The next sale MMS has scheduled for Alaska is Beaufort Sea Sale 202 in March 2007; the agency leased $46.7 million dollars worth of tracts at Beaufort Sea Sale 195 held in March.


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