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NEWS BULLETIN

June 02, 1999 --- Vol. 5, No. 29June 1999

Final decision on first Beaufort Sea areawide sale due in July

The state has given public notice of intent to issue a final finding and decision on the proposed areawide Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale.

If a decision is made that the proposed sale best serves the interests of the state, bidders packets will be available on or about July 1. The sale is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 13.

The sale, the first areawide sale in the Beaufort Sea, covers approximately 2.12 million acres of state-owned lands in the Beaufort Sea and shore lands along the Arctic coast between the Canadian border in the east and Barrow in the west. The sale is located entirely within the North Slope Borough.

A preliminary finding by the director of the Division of Oil and Gas of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources was issued for public review Dec. 15. At the same time the division issued an analysis of the sale’s consistency with the Alaska and North Slope Borough’s coastal management programs.

There are 573 tracts ranging in gross area from 640 to 5,760 acres. After bids are received, the division will do title work on tracts receiving bids. Lands within the sale area covered by existing leases will be included in this sale if relinquished by June 1; lands released from leased status after that date would be offered in the next areawide Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale in May 2000.

BP term price holds steady

BP Amoco’s June term price for Alaska North Slope crude is $15.84 a barrel, up 22 cents from $15.62 a barrel for May, a 1.4 percent increase.

The term price bottomed out in January at $9.37 a barrel and has increased in four of the succeeding five months: to $10.79 a barrel for February (up $1.42 a barrel); $10.47 a barrel for March (down 32 cents); and $13.07 a barrel for April (up $2.60 a barrel). May’s term price was up $2.55 a barrel from the April price.

The year-to-date term price average stands at $12.53 a barrel, down 7.8 percent from last year’s average through June of $13.59 a barrel.

BP has the largest share of North Slope production and is the only ANS producer to report term prices.

As of May 24, the Alaska Department of Revenue Division of Oil and Gas Audit was reporting a fiscal year-to-date ANS price of $12.49 a barrel, 38 cents a barrel above the division’s spring 1999 estimate.

Call for new information

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas has issued a call for new information for proposed oil and gas lease sale North Slope areawide 2000.

The call allows affected parties 60 days to submit new information that has become available since issuance of the final best interest finding for the North Slope March 17, 1998. The call for comments closes July 26. The sale is tentatively scheduled for February 2000.

The division will determine whether there is “substantial new information” which justifies a supplement to the finding.

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