Thursday, May 23, 2013
State Oil and Gas Lease Sale a Success
But DNR Commissioner says it could have been better
With currently more than 25 million dollars worth of bids on Alaska lands, energy officials on both the state and federal levels are calling Wednesday’s oil and gas sales a success. But natural resources commissioner Dan Sullivan says more needs to be done in order to protect Alaska's energy and economic future. It's all part of Governor Sean Parnell's plan to “Secure Alaska's Future.” And with one strategy to get one million barrels a day pumping in the next ten years, Sullivan says they have to be more aggressive in getting more investors drilling on state and federal lands for that goal to be a reality.
Dollars are the words natural resource officials are happy to hear. Oil and gas lease sales in the Beaufort Sea, North Slope, and the Natural Petroleum Reserve brought in over 25 million dollars from more than 20 different bidders. “Big companies, small companies, medium sized companies, new players, old players,” said Sullivan. They're successful sales that have ushered in new optimism over oil and gas development, which many think will bring Alaska and the rest of the country to become energy independent.
“The National Petroleum Reserve is intrical from the standpoint of development to what happens on the state lands,” said Bud Cribley, who is the state director of the Federal Bureau Of Land Management. “We will have more oil and gas resources being developed and being transported to the Lower 48 states, which will contribute to that independence.”
But the Natural Resources Commissioner says everyone could do even better. Not every company they reached out to showed up. “There's always concern about the cost and certainly we did hear a lot about the high marginal tax rate,” said Sullivan.” That's why he stresses the need to get more investors drilling and oil flowing. “Getting back up 900 thousand barrels a day, that's going to benefit everybody,” said Sullivan. “The key to that though is that is going to take billions, tens of billions of dollars of investment.” It's a push that only has just begun to ensure Alaska's natural resources can be used in the future.
Another part of the Secure Alaska's Future plan is for Department of Natural Resources folks to go out and talk about Alaska's resources. And that includes reaching out to community groups, federal agencies, even cold calling companies to put Alaska’s oil and gas potential on their radar, so that the future oil and gas lease sales will be even bigger.