BP nears end of million-acre lease sale

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) BP Exploration (Alaska) has sold its acreage in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and in the Brooks Range foothills on Alaska's North Slope, according to BP spokesman Daren Beaudo, and is just finishing a lease sale for the rest of roughly a million acres the oil giant is shedding in the oil-producing region.

BP sold its NPR-A acreage to ConocoPhillips Alaska and its foothills acreage to Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The total lease area was nearly 600,000 acres.

BP is also in the process of selling an additional 400,000-plus exploration acres on the North Slope, which will bring the total sales to about 1 million acres.

Selling these leases has two effects: to spur and accelerate new investment and production on the North Slope by other companies, including independents'' and to keep BP's North Slope focus on commercializing billions of barrels of known resources in its Alaskan portfolio,'' Beaudo told Petroleum News.

He said the NPR-A and foothills sale, which closed at the end of the year, is consistent with BP's plans'' to focus on resources in and around existing fields and near existing infrastructure.

Bid closing for the 400,000-plus acres was Tuesday, and BP was planning to notify successful bidders in a week or two.

BP's acreage in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not for sale, he said.



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