by Ashton Goodell
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Division of Oil and Gas announced exploration bids Wednesday on state land in the Beaufort Sea area.
Only three companies placed bids on the 18 tracts of land totaling 46,000 acres.
The state made more than $800,000 dollars on the sale.
The highest bid came in at just over $200,000.
"It's a mature basin so you can expect that you're going to see a declining number of bids over the course of time. But new players are always fun to have. GMT Exploration Co. is one that we are not familiar with so we are excited to have a new player in the basin," said Kurt Gibson with the Division of Oil and Gas.
Alaska Native and environmental groups are criticizing the sale, saying development would threaten marine life and people who rely on a subsistence lifestyle.
The next lease sale is scheduled for May for drilling rights in the Cook Inlet and Alaska Peninsula regions.