BP Exploration (Alaska) spokesman Daren Beaudo told Petroleum News today that the company has sold its acreage position in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and in the North Slope Foothills.
Beaudo said the sales were effective Dec. 31.
BP sold its NPR-A acreage to ConocoPhillips Alaska and its Foothills acreage to Anadarko Petroleum.
BP's net acreage in NPR-A was 116,500 acres out of a gross position of some 233,000 acres with partners ConocoPhillips and ChevronTexaco.
In the Foothills, of 1.2 million gross acres of Arctic Slope Regional Corp. land, BP's net acreage was 401,700 acres. Gross state Foothills acreage is 230,000 acres, 76,700 acres net to BP. Partners in the Foothills' acreage were Anadarko, who first struck the exploration deal with ASRC, and EnCana.
"Selling these leases has two effects: to spur and accelerate new investment and production on the North Slope by other companies" and to keep BP's North Slope focus "on commercializing billions of barrels of known resources in its Alaskan portfolio," Beaudo said.
He said the lease sale is "consistent with BP's plans, announced earlier this year, to focus on resources in and around existing fields and near existing infrastructure, where the company has had the greatest success."
BP said last year that it was offering more than 400,000 acres of its oil and gas leases on the North Slope to 15 oil companies, including independents, that are positioned to prospect the leases. That offering, BP said, did not include NPR-A, Foothills or Arctic National Wildlife Refuge acreage.
Bids on the 400,000 North Slope acres will be awarded by Oct. 1. Beaudo said it was BP's intent to evaluate bids and notify successful bidders as soon as possible so that companies can plan for fall lease sales.