Gustavo Bernal Torres
Sale of Drilling Leases in Arctic Refuge Fails to Yield a Windfall
Just half of the 22 available tracts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge got bids, and big oil companies stayed away-
In a blow to efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel development, only half of the oil and gas leases offered for sale Wednesday received bids, and all but two of those came from the state of Alaska itself.
Only two companies, neither of them major oil producers, made bids to acquire 10-year rights to explore and drill for oil on two tracts totaling about 75,000 acres. A state-owned economic development corporation, offering the minimum of $25 an acre, was the sole bidder on the other tracts, totaling about half a million acres. The rights to another 400,000 acres remained unsold.