State officials say Wednesday’s Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale netted more than $6.8 million. Preliminary results indicate the sale is the second largest in Cook Inlet in a dozen years. Bill Barron, state Department of Natural Resources oil, says an gas division director, says five groups bid on 44 tracts.
The three primary bidders at today’s sale were Apache, Cook Inlet Energy, and a new player in Cook Inlet, Hillcorp.
Barron says the increased interest in Cook Inlet resources could be attributed to Apache’s earlier exploration efforts
State tax incentives have played a role in luring new development to the Inlet. There’s no tax on Cook Inlet oil production. Producers do pay a 5 percent royalty on new discoveries for the first 10 years. Barron says after today’s lease sale, it takes about a year before exploration can begin.
Listen for the full story