State adds extra North Slope oil and gas lease sales to upcoming schedule

Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state is adding extra North Slope foothills area-wide oil and gas lease sales to its upcoming leasing schedule.

Gov. Tony Knowles said the addition is in response to increased interest in North Slope natural gas. The extra lease sales will be added to the schedule for 2002 through 2006.

During its first area-wide foothills lease sale in May, the state leased more than 950,000 acres -- the most acreage in any state sale, according to Knowles.

Before North Slope natural gas became a coveted commodity, the state had planned to hold one foothills lease sale before opening the area to noncompetitive exploration licensing.

Future area-wide lease sales are scheduled for May and will be held along with the Cook Inlet lease sales. The public process for the 2002 lease sale will start in September.

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