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November 08, 2011 --- Vol. 17, No. 96November 2011

Beaufort, Chukchi, Cook Inlet included in proposed 2012-17 OCS lease sale schedule

The U.S. Department of the Interior said today that its proposed outer continental shelf lease sale program for 2012-17 includes 15 lease sales in six offshore areas.

In Alaska those areas are a Beaufort Sea sale in 2015 and a Chukchi Sea sale in 2016.

For both of those sales, Interior said that placing them later in the sale schedule allows “time to learn from any interim exploration and further analyze environmental issues, subsistence use needs, and infrastructure capabilities — so that the lease sale can be tailored to balance these issues.”

Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes said at a press conference on the proposed schedule that the department would be taking a tailored approach to any offerings in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, with no leasing in areas with subsistence use or environmental sensitivities.

A special interest Cook Inlet sale is included in the proposal, initially scheduled for 2013, but Interior said it may be moved to later in the program depending on industry interest.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold public hearings in December to take comments on the draft programmatic environmental impact statement for the proposed 2012-17 OCS oil and gas leasing program.

Alaska hearings include: Wainwright, Dec. 5; Nuiqsut, Dec. 6; Kaktovik, Dec. 7; Fairbanks, Dec. 8; Anchorage, Dec. 9; Kotzebue, Dec. 12; Point Hope, Dec. 13; Point Lay, Dec. 14; and Barrow, Dec. 16.

—Kristen Nelson

See full story in Nov. 13 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 11 at www.PetroleumNews.com

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