The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, opened bids worth $2,705,028 at two areawide lease sales held in Anchorage this morning. Commissioner of Natural Resources Pat Pourchot said prior to bid opening that since the state began offering areawide lease sales in 1998, it has leased more than 4.2 million acres and collected more than $100 million in bonus bids. The state, he said, has met its objective of offering predictable lease sales.
The total for the North Slope lease sale, $1,730,540.80, will drop by some $90,000 to closer to $1.64 million when the state adjudicates the bids because five bids from EnCana failed to meet the minimum bid for the sale of $10 an acre.
The state received 15 bids for 15 tracts in the Beaufort Sea areawide, some 37,760 acres, a total or $974,487.20, and 17 bids for 17 tracts, some 68,480 acres, in the North Slope areawide sale.
No new players bid and leaseholders appeared to be filling in around existing acreage position.
The highest bid per acre was $6,713.06 an acre in the Beaufort Sea sale from a bidding group of ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron USA and ConocoPhillips Alaska for some 40 acres on the eastern edge of Point Thomson, an area that Division of Oil and Gas Director Mark Myers said the state received after the ANWR border was redrawn.
The highest bid per acre in the North Slope areawide sale was $313 an acre for a tract at the edge of the Colville River unit, this from unit owners ConocoPhillips Alaska and Anadarko Petroleum.
Bids in the Beaufort Sea sale were around Point Thomson (from the ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron USA and ConocoPhillips Alaska bidding group) McCovey (predominantly by an EnCana, ConocoPhillips and Chevron USA bidding group) and Alpine (Colville River unit owners ConocoPhillips and Anadarko) while North Slope area bids were adjacent to NPR-A (AVCG Ltd. and Alfred James III), Colville (unit owners ConocoPhillips and Anadarko) and south of existing acreage positions. ConocoPhillips and Unocal took acreage south of existing lease positions.