Interior lease sales a "colossal dud"

Dec 6, 2017

In response to news reports that the Interior Department's energy lease sale today drew little oil industry interest, Chase Huntley, senior director of The Wilderness Society's energy program said:

"What was billed as the largest lease sale in history has in fact turned out to be a colossal dud. The results of this sale speak for themselves -- even at firesale prices -- there is little industry interest in rushing to the Arctic to tap oil easily found elsewhere. Companies bid on less than one percent of the tracts offered. This sale can be seen as nothing but a failure. Every American should be outraged by the desire of this administration to give away their public lands. No one should trust their claim that new acreage is needed to keep pace with industry demand, especially when it comes to the irreplaceable Arctic Refuge. The Trump Administration's license to deal our on our public lands should be revoked."

Some facts on the NPR-A lease sale and Arctic drilling:

  • To raise the $1 billion in federal revenue that Sen. Murkowski claims the coastal plain would produce, the federal government would have to sell EVERY ONE of the 1.5 million acres for $1,333. That would raise $2 billion, with half going to the state of Alaska, and half going to the federal government

  • By comparison, the overall per acre average on the NPR-A sale was $14.49 (=$1,159,357/79,998)

  • The high bid amount was $14.99 per acre

  • BLM billed this as the largest lease sale ever:

  • 10.3 million acres were offered and 79,998 acres were sold
    • That’s 0.78% or less than one percent of the total area that was available for bidding
  • Only $1.2 million was generated from the sale and 50 percent will go to the State of Alaska