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September 27, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 65September 2006

BLM nets $13.9 million in NPR-A northwest lease sale

The Bureau of Land Management received 87 bids on 81 tracts in its sale this morning in the northwest planning area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

FEX LP and Petro-Canada Alaska Inc., bidding as 60/40 partners, took some 562,000 acres, 60 percent of the 939,867 acres which received bids, paying a total of $10.4 million, an average of almost $18.50 an acre. FEX/Petro-Canada also had the high bid, at $201.03 an acre for tract 272, a total of $2,280,100 for the tract.

FEX/Petro-Canada took all 48 tracts on which they bid.

Richard Garrard, FEX Alaska geoscientist, told Petroleum News after the sale that the company shot 3-D seismic in the sale area last winter. The company has some 100 percent acreage in NPR-A northwest and some that has been cross-assigned to Petro-Canada, Garrard said. The companies, bidding independently, were top two bidders in the 2004 NPR-A northwest sale.

Anadarko Petroleum was the next largest bidder in this morning’s sale, with high bids of $2.38 million on 25 tracts, more than 286,000 acres at an average of $8.32 per acre. Anadarko bid primarily on tracts in the southeast corner of the sale area, where it took two tracts in the 2004 sale. It also took a block of four leases in the south-central portion of the sale area.

Anadarko bid on 31 tracts and lost six to ConocoPhillips Alaska.

ConocoPhillips had $1 million in high bids for eight tracts in the south-central area of the sale, a total of 91,624 acres at an average price of $10.91 per acre.

Erec Isaacson, ConocoPhillips Alaska vice president of exploration and land, said after the sale that the company was extending an area it picked up in the 2004 sale to the south. He said the relatively few overlapping bids in the sale reflected “a lot of diverging opinions” about the sale area. “We’re happy with what we got,” he said, “we got all the blocks that we bid on.”

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