BOEM Issues Call for Information and Nominations for Potential 2016 Oil and Gas Lease Sale Offshore Alaska
Seeks Public Comment on Potential Lease Sale 237 Using Region-Specific Targeted Leasing Approach
09-26-2013 Washington D.C.
As part of the Obama Administration's
all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible
domestic energy development, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today
issued a Call for Information and Nominations relating to a potential oil and
gas Lease Sale 237 scheduled for the Chukchi Sea Planning Area off of Alaska in
The 45-day Call is the first step in the
region-specific, targeted approach to leasing offshore Alaska, as established
in the current Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program
2012-2017 (Five Year Program), which BOEM published last summer.
"The Chukchi Sea has substantial oil and gas potential, but
also is a unique and sensitive environment that provides for the subsistence of
Alaska Natives living on the North Slopes," said BOEM Director Tommy P.
Beaudreau. "Any future leasing in the Chukchi Sea must be focused on areas
that can be developed safely and responsibly while also protecting sensitive
habitats and places that are important to Alaska Native hunters and
Targeted leasing differs significantly from the
area-wide leasing model that is appropriate for the Gulf of Mexico, and is
designed to result in a more focused leasing configuration that offers areas
with the most promising oil and gas resource potential while also protecting
environmentally sensitive habitats and important social and cultural uses,
including subsistence hunting and fishing activity.
Consistent with targeted leasing, the Call is
designed to provide BOEM with information about interest in offshore oil and
gas leasing by requesting that industry identify specific blocks in the Chukchi
Sea Program Area, located in the Arctic off Alaska's northwest coast, that
appear promising for oil and gas exploration and development.
The Call requests that industry rank its
interest in particular areas according to five levels of priority ranging from
"critical interest" to "no interest" and provide detailed
information about the basis for its level of interest in any nominated areas,
including a summary of the relevant geologic, geophysical and economic
information. The Call also asks all interested parties for comments and
information about other information relevant to BOEM's analysis of areas for
potential leasing, geological conditions such as bottom hazards; archaeological
sites on the seabed or nearshore; multiple uses of the area, including
navigation and subsistence; and other socioeconomic, biological or
The Call is an early step in the offshore oil
and gas planning process and does not indicate a final decision about any areas
in the Chukchi Sea that may be offered for oil and gas leasing in the future.
BOEM will make decisions about potential areas for leasing after evaluating
industry interest in the resource potential of specific areas, continuing its
development and analysis of scientific information and traditional knowledge
regarding environmental issues and potential conflicts with uses such as
subsistence hunting and fishing, and conducting thorough environmental reviews
and consultations under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws.
BOEM also will coordinate closely with other relevant federal agencies, the State of
Alaska and local governments, Alaska Native tribes and organizations, and
stakeholders throughout this process.
The Call is available for public inspection in
the Federal Register at:https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2013-23670.pdf
Comments on the lease sale proposal may be
submitted to BOEM in accordance with the instructions in the Federal
Register notice. Additional information about targeted leasing is
available on the BOEM Alaska OCS Region website at:www.boem.gov/ak237
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy
independence, environmental protection and economic development through
responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable