BOEM to offer Cook Inlet blocks offshore Alaska in June lease sale
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will offer around 1.09 million acres off Alaska’s south central coast in a lease sale scheduled for June 21.
Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244 will offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the federal Cook Inlet planning area for leasing. The blocks stretch roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south.
“We conducted a robust environmental analysis and look forward to holding Alaska’s first OCS lease sale since 2008,” said Dr. Walter Cruickshank, BOEM’s acting director. “The areas offered for leasing represent a careful balance between jobs, energy development, and natural resource protection.”
The Final Notice of Sale (FNOS) and a copy of the Record of Decision (ROD) affirming the sale are available now at the BOEM’s website. The FNOS and a Notice of Availability for the ROD will be posted, Friday, May 19, in the Federal Register Reading Room, and published on Monday, May 22, in the Federal Register.
The lease sale will be entirely webcast via a link on the bureau’s website. The live stream may be accessed beginning at 9 a.m. Alaska Time. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. viewers will see a stand-by notice; the bid reading will begin at 10 a.m. Livestreaming a lease sale enables BOEM to deliver pertinent bid information immediately to a broad national and international audiences, making it unnecessary to attend the lease sale in person.
The lease sale is the thirteenth and final OCS lease sale under theOuter Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five-Year Program). Together, these lease sales have netted more than $3 billion for American taxpayers.
In December 2016, BOEM published a final environmental impact statement relating to the lease sale. The EIS analyzed the important environmental resources and uses (e.g., sea otter and beluga whale populations; subsistence activities; commercial fishing of pacific salmon and halibut; and more) that currently exist within the Cook Inlet Planning Area and identified robust mitigation measures to be considered in leasing the area. Mitigation measures identified in the Final Notice of Sale would protect sea otter, beluga whales, and subsistence, recreational and commercial fisheries.
The lease sale terms include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region. BOEM’s proposed economic terms are designed to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers. A full list of terms and conditions are in the Final Notice of Sale.