The Native Village of Point Hope, the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope and 12 environmental organizations have given notice that they are taking an appeal against the Department of the Interior’s 2008 oil and gas lease sale to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
The groups had appealed the validity of the environmental analysis for the lease sale in the federal District Court in Alaska. However, following a court case that lasted several years and that involved a rewrite by Interior of the environmental impact statement for the lease sale, in February District Judge Ralph Beistline dismissed the case. Beistline said that, following the EIS rewrite, Interior had complied with all applicable laws in approving the 2008 lease sale.
The groups challenging the lease sale have now appealed the District Court’s decision to the 9th Circuit.
Shell, ConocoPhillips, Statoil and other companies bought leases in the sale — Interior received $2.6 billion in bonus bids.
Shell plans to drill in its Chukchi Sea leases this year, while ConocoPhillips and Statoil plan to start drilling in 2014.
See story in April 22 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, April 20, at www.PetroleumNews.com