Hewitt Mineral Corp. surrendered its remaining North Aleutian basin leases in October.
The Oklahoma independent relinquished four leases covering some 22,682 acres in the North Aleutian basin, also known as the Bristol Bay basin, around the Alaska Peninsula.
Hewitt picked up the leases in the same October 2005 sale where Shell Offshore acquired some 190,000 acres. Hewitt also acquired a lease in 2007 that it previously dropped.
The four Hewitt leases were on the southwest side of Herendeen Bay.
With the latest news, there are now no active leases in the North Aleutian basin.
Shell relinquished all 33 of its state leases in the basin in late 2008, saying the onshore and inland areas of the Bristol Bay region no longer fitted into the company’s exploration plans. State Alaska Peninsula lease sales in 2008, 2009 and 2010 drew no bidders.
Following the May 2010 lease sale, Division of Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks connected the lack of bids to the federal government’s decision to take the North Aleutian basin off its sale schedule, but added that the State of Alaska would continue to offer Alaska Peninsula acreage for leasing each year under the areawide leasing program as a way to remain current and to be ready in case the conditions someday favored leasing again.
See story in Nov. 14 issue, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, Nov. 12, at www.PetroleumNews.com