Shell, Hewitt win petroleum leases on Alaska Peninsula
By DAN JOLING, Associated Press Writer
Published: October 26, 2005
Last Modified: October 26, 2005 at 10:06 AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The first sale of state oil and gas leases in 22 years on the Alaska Peninsula on Wednesday generated 37 bids, most from one major oil company.
Shell Offshore Inc. was high bidder on 33 tracts, all centered near Port Moeller, the site of a seasonal fish processing facility, and southeast of Nelson Lagoon, a community of about 75 people 580 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Hewitt Mineral Corp. was high bidder on four tracts in the same area.
Shell and Hewitt bid on tracts that have the oldest rocks in the region with potential for both oil and gas, said Mark Myers, director of the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas.
Myers said the area's prospects are considered best for natural gas and that the Alaska Peninsula has characteristics in common with Cook Inlet, where Anchorage gets its natural gas.
The state offered 1,047 tracts covering about 5.8 million onshore and offshore acres, an area about the size of New Hampshire. The sale acreage available stretched from the Nushagak Peninsula in the north, down the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, to an area north of Cold Bay
"It's a good, solid start," Myers said of the sale, given the lack of infrastructure and risks of drilling in a new area. "We didn't necessarily expect a huge sale to start out with."