ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Aleutians East Borough and the Minerals Management Service have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that outlines a cooperative arrangement to ensure local interests are considered during the evaluation of proposed North Aleutian basin oil and gas Lease Sale 214 in Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Using provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the MOA provides a framework for coordination, communication, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and information between the MMS and the Borough.
The area included in the proposal is believed to be natural gas-prone and is located in the southeastern Bering Sea offshore the Borough and the western end of the Aleutian Peninsula. The area under consideration in the North Aleutian area proposed for the sale covers about 5.6 million acres. The sale is proposed for 2011.
The Aleutians East Borough stretches from the Alaska Peninsula to the easternmost Aleutian Islands. There are five incorporated cities and two unincorporated villages within the boundaries of the borough, which encompasses more than 6,900 sq mi (17,871 sq km) of land and more than 8,000 sq mi (2,072 sq km) of water.
As the steward of mineral resources on the OCS, MMS is responsible for all phases of mineral resource management in Federal waters, about 1.76 billion acres of submerged lands. Oil from the OCS contributes approximately 27% of total US oil production and approximately 15% of total US natural gas production.