BOEM to open call for information, nominations for proposed Beaufort Sea lease sale

3/29/2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced it will publish in the Federal Register a call for information and nominations covering a proposed lease sale in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea Planning Area in 2019. The proposed sale is listed in the draft proposed 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that the Secretary of the Interior announced on Jan. 4, 2018.

“Available information indicates that the Beaufort Sea possesses great oil and gas potential,” said Dr. James Kendall, director of BOEM’s Alaska OCS Region. “It also contains unique, environmentally sensitive areas important to the subsistence needs of the region’s Alaska Native communities. This process will help us identify not only the areas that can be safely and responsibly developed, but also those areas that should be protected for wildlife and traditional uses.”

The call will appear in the Federal Register’s Reading Room on Thursday, March 29, and in the Federal Register on Friday, March 30.

The publication of the Beaufort Sea Call will initiate a 30-day comment period ending on April 30, 2018. During this time, BOEM seeks comments from industry on interest in the areas proposed for leasing, including nominations or indications of interest in specific lease blocks within the area. BOEM also seeks comment from any interested party relating to particular geological, environmental, biological, archaeological and socioeconomic conditions, use conflicts, or other information that could affect the potential leasing and development of particular areas.

The proposed 2019-2024 National OCS Program is still in draft form -- the issuance of this call does not mean that a final decision has been made to hold the Beaufort Sea sales referenced in the draft proposed program.

Information submitted in response to this call will be used to help determine what specific blocks within a program area may be offered for leasing, prioritize areas with potential for oil and gas development, develop potential lease terms and conditions, identify potential use conflicts and potential mitigation measures, and assist in BOEM’s planning and environmental review process.

Once the call is complete and the comments have been analyzed, BOEM will proceed with the next step in the process, area Identification. In this step, based on the information and nominations submitted in response to this call, BOEM will develop a recommendation as to the area proposed for leasing and environmental analysis. Upon approval by the Secretary, BOEM will then publish in the Federal Register the proposed area identified for possible leasing.

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