Repsol USA was the big winner in the Alaska North Slope areawide lease saleheld Wednesday, submitting high bids on 45 tracts of 119 parcels offered.
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Repsol also submitted the high bid for the sale of $293.18 per acre on leasetract NS530B, according to a post-sale analysis by the state Division of Oiland Gas.
ConocoPhillips submitted bids near the state's $20 per acre minimum on severaltracts it bid one but also bid aggressively in two tracts, submitting bids of$215.95 per acre on both.
In total, Alaska netted $19.9 million in apparent high bids from 11 groups whosubmitted 124 bids for tracts, said Chantel Walsh, oil and gas divisiondirector. "We're extremely pleased with the results," she said.
A series of high bids by Repsol brought the average for all bids to about $111per acre, the highest amount in a state lease sale in more than a decade,division officials said.
Acreage was also offered separately on state offshore Beaufort Sea leases, butbidding was modest, mainly from independents but with Repsol acquiring oneoffshore tract.
Armstrong Oil and Gas, Repsol's partner on the North Slope, bid separately inthe onshore sale and picked up 10 tracts. ConocoPhillips, a North Slopeproducer, acquired six tracts.
Accumulate Energy, a joint-venture of two independents, Australia-based 88Energy and Burgundy Exploration of Houston, acquired 12 tracts.
Repsol bid aggressively for acreage it acquired, offering $194 and $153 peracre in many bids, at times in competition with its partner, Armstong, whichmade offer that were more modest, typically $35 to $45 per acre.
Repsol senior landman Jason Sebastinas, who attended the sale, said that whilehis company and Armstrong were bidding against each other a share of theleases acquired by each would be offered to the other under the partnershipagreement.
"This is only one of several bidding strategies we considered," Sebastinassaid in an interview.
The strongest bids came in an onshore area that follows a geologic trend --the Nanushak formation -- that extends south of where Armstrong and Repsolhave made recent discoveries. ConocoPhillips' bids were in the same area.Armstrong and Repsol are now in the final stages of securing permits fordevelopment of their Pikka discovery, which has estimated recoverable reservesof 1.2 billion barrels, the companies have said.
Tracts acquired by Accumuate Energy were on state lands south of the producingKuparuk River field. Accumulate has been exploring shale formations in thearea that could produce oil but its focus most recently has been onconventional oil prospects.
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