On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior reported results from the first of two auctions for leases to develop oil and gas resources in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. In the sale held by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, 22 leases covering 1,089,053 acres were up for auction to the highest bidder. As expected, results from the sale were disappointing. Of the 22 available, 11 parcels covering 552,802 acres received bids.
- Background information on ANWR, the lease sale, and leasing revenue estimates.
- TCS Statement on the Jan 6th ANWR lease sale
ANWR Leasing Revenue from Jan. 6 Auction
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The Coastal Plain Leasing Program was authorized in the 2017 Tax Act (P.L. 115-97). The measure authorized two sales, but any subsequent sale likely won’t bring in much additional revenue. Only 11 parcels in the Coastal Plain are located in an area with high hydrocarbon potential, according to the Bureau. Those eleven received bids in the auction on Wednesday. If the Bureau accepts the bids and the parcels are off the market, a second sale with less attractive parcels is likely to have little to no bidding.