Newcomer Great Bear Petroleum LLC made a big showing at the Oct. 27 Alaska North Slope areawide lease sale, taking 105 tracts, more than half a million acres and some $8 million in apparent high bids.
The total for the sale was 129 tracts sold, 602,880 acres and $8,811,226.40 in apparent high bids.
Ed Duncan, Great Bear’s president and COO, said after the sale that he didn’t target 100 percent success — the company took every tract on which it bid — and said they’ll have to cull some tracts to get below the state’s 500,000-acre limit.
The tracts Great Bear took are primarily a large block south of Kuparuk and Prudhoe.
State of Alaska Division of Oil and Gas Director Kevin Banks said after the sale that the Great Bear sweep was somewhat analogous to last year’s North Slope sale, when Denver-based Armstrong took 68 tracts (it bid on 69) of 80 at the sale, for $7.6 million in apparent high bids.
Duncan said he and Bob Rosenthal, the company’s vice president of new ventures, have both worked in Alaska in the past and have a good understanding of petroleum systems on the North Slope.
There are five principals in Great Bear Petroleum, he said, and while only he and Rosenthal have worked in Alaska, all the principals are long-time colleagues.
Duncan said Great Bear believes “there are expansive new plays” in the area of its leases.
The Texas-based company plans to open an Anchorage office and Duncan said he and Karen Bryant Duncan, the firm’s vice president-corporate and general counsel, will be relocating to Anchorage in the spring.