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September 26, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 95September 2003

State receives, will evaluate, proposal for Bristol Bay exploration license

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, said today that it has received a proposal for a Bristol Bay basin exploration license, and will evaluate that proposal.

The division solicited exploration license proposals July 25 for an area of approximately 3 million acres of state-owned and state-selected or top filed lands in the Bristol Bay region, north of the village of Naknek and east of Dillingham. Companies had until Aug. 25 to notify the state that they intended to submit proposals; those proposals were due Sept. 23.

Jim Hansen, the division's leasing manager, told Petroleum News in late August that the company received two expressions of interest by the Aug. 25 deadline.

The division said today that it received one exploration license proposal Sept. 23. Because it is soliciting competing proposals, the division is not releasing the name of the applicant or the provisions of the proposal. Comments from the public and agencies on whether a license in this area is in the state's best interest are due Nov. 25.

Competing proposals, which must be between 10,000 and 500,000 acres, are also due Nov. 25, and prospective licensees must notify the division by Oct. 27 of intention to submit proposals.

Proposals must include specific items, including: lands proposed for licensing; specific work commitment expressed in dollars; term of the license; amount and form of security to be posted.

The state is also proposing an areawide Alaska Peninsula oil and gas lease sale. The competitive lease sale area is south of the area proposed for exploration licensing, and includes offshore state land and onshore acreage on the Alaska Peninsula from south of Naknek to north of Cold Bay. Comments on the proposed areawide sale are due Oct. 31. A preliminary best interest finding is scheduled for August 2004 and a final best interest finding for July 2005. The proposed areawide sale would be in October 2005.

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