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NEWS BULLETIN

September 19, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 121September 2001

MMS to use multiple sale process for Alaska's Beaufort Sea

This morning the U.S. Minerals Management Service issued a Call for Information and Nominations and Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for three Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sales proposed under its draft 2002-2007 five year program.

The process will incorporate planning and analysis for sales 186, 195 and 202, tentatively scheduled for 2003, 2005 and 2007, respectively.

It is the first time MMS has issued a multi-sale call for the Beaufort Sea although the agency said it used a similar process in its 1997-2002 five year program for the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.

MMS Alaska Regional Director John Goll said “the multi-sale EIS will eliminate the need to prepare a new EIS for each proposed sale on issues which rarely change. If they do change, then the approach will make it easier for the public and us to key on those new issues and their effects.”

The Beaufort Sea planning area is offshore Alaska's northern coast, extending from about 3 nautical miles to approximately 60 nautical miles offshore in water depths ranging from approximately 25 to 200 feet. Water depths in a small portion of the sale area north of Harrison Bay drop to about 3,000 feet. The area covers about 9.9 million acres.

Comments must be received by Nov. 5 and should be sent to the MMS Alaska OCS Region, 949 East 36th Ave., Room 308, Anchorage 99508 or submitted via e-mail to [email protected]

If you have any questions, call MMS at 907 271-6070 or toll-free at 1-800-764-2627.

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