The State of Alaska brought in more than $9.1 million in apparent high bids at two oil and gas lease sales this morning, more than $2.6 million at the Beaufort Sea areawide sale and more than $6.5 million at the North Slope areawide sale.
The big winner was initially a mystery — a Denver-based company calling itself “70 & 148 LLC” had $1.86 million of the $2.6 million Beaufort Sea high bids and $5 million of $6.5 million North Slope bids.
However, Petroleum News has learned from Bill Armstrong of Armstrong Oil and Gas of Denver that 70 & 148 LLC is “another Armstrong affiliate.”
Why the name? Armstrong said they typically set up a new entity when they go into an area. “I’ve used up all the Armstrong names ... 70 and 148 are the latitude and longitude coordinates of Prudhoe Bay. It’s got good karma.”
The state received 72 bids from seven bidders or bidding groups for 60 tracts in the North Slope sale, and 38 bids from nine bidders or bidding groups for 32 tracts in the Beaufort Sea sale.
The 70 & 148 LLC bids accounted for 77 percent of the apparent high bids in the North Slope and 71 percent of the apparent high bids at the Beaufort Sea sale.
In the Beaufort Sea sale Daniel K. Donkel (25 percent) and Samuel H. Cade (75 percent) had apparent high bids of $280,992 on five tracts.
The major Prudhoe Bay owners (BP Exploration (Alaska), ConocoPhillips Alaska, ExxonMobil Production Co. and Chevron) bid $150,048 for a tract on the edge of the Prudhoe Bay unit. ConocoPhillips Alaska bid $106,316.80 for a tract on the edge of the Colville River unit.
AVCG LLC had high bids totaling $83,200 on two tracts; J. Andrew Bachner had the high bid on two tracts for a total of $52,582.40. A bidding group of Sun-West Oil & Gas, Michael Shearn and Shane Spear took a single tract for $52,281.16 and Savant Alaska took a single tract for $27,673.60.
In the North Slope sale Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska took a single tract for $783,027.20. FEX LP took six tracts for $590,400. J. Andrew Bachner took two tracts for $52,582.40. AVCG took a single tract for $45,440 and Savant Alaska LLC took a single tract for $27,673.60.
See full story in Oct. 26 issue of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, Oct. 24 at www.PetroleumNews.com