U.S. To Assess Holding Oil, Gas Lease Sale In Offshore Arctic

The U.S. Department of the Interior said on Thursday that it intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a potential 2019 oil and gas lease sale in the Beaufort Sea in federal Arctic waters.

The environmental impact statement will “focus on the potential effects of leasing, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the proposed lease sale area,” the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said in a Federal Register notice.

The Beaufort Sea Planning Area offshore Alaska consists of 11,876 whole and partial lease blocks covering roughly 65 million acres of the Beaufort Sea.

The Notice of Intent is not an announcement to hold a lease sale, but is a continuation of the information gathering process, BOEM noted.

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