MMS issues multisale call for information on Beaufort Sea sales

The US Minerals Management service has requested information for three tentatively scheduled Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sales proposed under the 2002-07 leasing program. It also issued notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the sales.

HOUSTON, Sept. 21 -- The US Minerals Management service has requested information for three tentatively scheduled Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sales proposed under the 2002-07 leasing program. It also issued notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the sales.

The call covers Beaufort Sea sales 186, 195, and 202, tentatively scheduled for 2003, 2005, and 2007 respectively. The Beaufort Sea planning area is 3-60 miles off Alaska's northern coast in 25-200 ft of water.

This is the first multisale call for information for the Beaufort Sea, though last week, the MMS issued a multisale call for information and notice of intent to prepare an EIS for 10 lease sales in the western and central Gulf of Mexico (OGJ Online, Sept. 14, 2001).

"The multisale EIS will eliminate the need to prepare a new EIS for each proposed sale on issues which rarely change," said MMS Alaska Regional Director John Goll. "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."

He said that the MMS intends to prepare a single EIS for the three sales. The public will have the opportunity to comment on each sale proposal, however.

Comments on the call must be received by Nov. 5 at the MMS office in Anchorage.

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