Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sales set for June

An oil rig in Cook Inlet, Feb. 22, 2009. (Creative Commons photo by hig314)

The federal government this week announced it’s holding an oil and gas lease sale for over a million acres in Cook Inlet this June.

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The offshore area spans from south of Kalgin Island to north of Seldovia.

The last three federal lease sales in Cook Inlet were canceled due to lack of industry interest.

In a letter submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management last year, environmental groups raised concerns about oil and gas development’s impact on marine species and subsistence activities. The groups also said Cook Inlet’s harsh conditions make development risky.

The agency said it will require mitigation efforts for all lease holders to protect the Inlet’s resources.

The federal sale is scheduled for June 21. That same day, the state is also holding an oil and gas lease sale for about 4.2 million acres in the Cook Inlet region.

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Elizabeth Harball is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk, covering Alaska’s oil and gas industry and environmental policy. She is a contributor to the Energy Desk’s Midnight Oil podcast series. Before moving to Alaska in 2016, Harball worked at E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she covered federal and state climate change policy. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Harball is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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