Resource Evaluation Program Office - Alaska Region

The Alaska Region's Resource Evaluation (RE) Program Office investigates the mineral potential of the OCS (mainly for oil and gas), and ensures that the federal government receives fair market value for OCS oil and gas leases that it awards to private firms through a competitive bidding process. Resource Evaluation studies are carried out by a multi-disciplinary staff of geologists, geophysists, engineers and other physical scientists. These experts acquire and analyze large volumes of geological and geophysical information. Resource Evaluation also regulates the collection of geological and geophysical data offshore (private companies doing seismic research, for example).

Where does RE get offshore data?

In general, companies wishing to collect geological and geophysical data on the OCS prior to a lease sale must obtain a permit from the RE Program Office. Permits for data collection are granted after RE evaluates the permit application for compliance with existing regulations. These permits impose terms, conditions, and stipulations that are primarily aimed at protecting the marine environment. After a permit is granted, RE then monitors all field data collection activities to ensure compliance with the terms of the permit.

To carry out its mandate to assess the petroleum potential of offshore U.S. lands, Resource Evaluation is empowered to select and obtain copies of the geological and geophysical data that are collected under permit by private firms in the Alaska OCS.

How much oil and gas is offshore, and what is it worth?

Resource Evaluation uses seismic and other data to create maps that identify those areas of the Alaska OCS likely to contain oil and gas accumulations. Maps of specific structures that may have trapped petroleum, called prospect maps, are used to estimate the quantities of oil and gas that might be produced from a particular lease or group of leases. Estimates for potential revenues from oil and gas production are compared to estimates for costs of development to calculate the profit potential or economic worth of lands. The economic worth ultimately determines the minimum amount of money that must be offered with a lease sale bid in order to win exploration and development rights for a particular OCS lease.

Resource Evaluation also carries out regional assessments of the undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Alaska OCS. These assessments are used to identify those areas offering the greatest potential, and to guide leasing and exploration policies and programs.

Resource Evaluation prepares reports that describe the geology and petroleum potential of specific areas within the Alaska OCS. These geologic reports form part of the public information base for decision-making with regard to lease offerings. The reports address a wide range of topics, including regional geology, petroleum geology and environmental geology. The geologic reports also identify and characterize geologic or oceanographic features that may affect exploration or development engineering designs. Geologic reports published by the RE Program Office describe the geology or drilling results in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, Navarin Basin, Norton Basin, St. George Basin, North Aleutian Basin, Shumagin Shelf, Kodiak Shelf, and Gulf of Alaska Shelf areas. Resource Evaluation findings are also published in various professional journals and presented at geological, geophysical and engineering conferences.

The following information is Alaska-specific. More information on BOEM's Resource Evaluation Program in general can be found here.


CURRENT AND HISTORICAL PERMITS

A list of the currently open G&G permits in the Alaska Region, together with data regarding past permitting activities.


OBTAINING A PERMIT  

Companies that wish to collect geological and/or geophysical data on the Alaska OCS must obtain a permit from BOEM's Alaska Region Resource Evaluation Office. Here you will find permit application forms, and records concerning past permitting.


RESOURCE ASSESSMENT REPORTS

Resource Evaluation prepares reports that describe the geology and petroleum potential of specific areas within the Alaska OCS. These geologic reports form part of the public information base for decision-making with regard to lease offerings. The reports cover a wide range of topics, including regional geology, petroleum geology and environmental geology.


RELEASED GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL DATA

Geological and geophysical exploration for oil and gas on the OCS is primarily carried out by private companies operating under BOEM permits. To ensure that the Federal Government receives fair market value for any leases issued, BOEM has acquired a large portion of the data resulting from these exploration activities. Federal regulations require that this data be held proprietary for 25 years, then released to the public. The first such data was released in 2001.


CONTACT

BOEM Alaska Region
Resource Evaluation Program Office
3801 Centerpoint Drive Ste 500
Anchorage AK 99503-5823

Ph: 907-334-5321
Fax: 907-334-5322

 

Alaska Resource and Economic Analysis Section

Alaska Resource Analysis Section