5 Oil Companies High Bidders for Leases in Alaska Reserve

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., ConocoPhillips, Petro-Canada, FEX LP and Petro-Hunt LLC have won 10-year leases to drill in in northern areas of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The companies submitted high bids of almost $31 million for 150 tracts in the Northwest and Northeast portions of the reserve.

The Bureau of Land Management accepted all high bids in the Sept. 24 oil and gas lease sale and has mailed lease offers to the high bidders. If the companies accept the lease offers and pay the balance of the bonus bid, the annual rental and lease processing fee, the federal agency will issue the leases.

When it announced plans for the lease sale this summer, the bureau estimated the leases could result in the development of as much as 8.4 billion barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas for shipment to North American markets through gas pipelines currently in the planning stages. The U.S. consumes almost 7.5 billion barrels of oil each year.

There are 335 leases on 3.1 million acres in the reserve. The September lease sale included high bids on about 1.7 million acres within the 23 million-acre reserve, which lies just west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.