The Biden Administration has canceled leases pending in one million acres in Cook Inlet, according to CBS. The Department of the Interior said there was a “lack of industry interest in leasing in the area.” At the same time, DOI canceled leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
The news was announced by CBS, which appeared to be given an exclusive by the Department of Interior. It now appears a CBS reporter was accidentally copied on an internal e-mail within the Biden Administration. The Biden Administration has released no official documentation concerning the news reported by CBS.
The leases were part of a five-year plan set to expire on June 30, when the department was required to complete the sales.
The federal government claiming there isn’t interest is unfounded, said oil industry people in Alaska.
“How do you know, if you don’t have the sale. Oil is at $111 a barrel today. There’s no harm in having the lease sale to gauge interest,” said Rebecca Logan, president of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.
Hilcorp has been interested in that area and has had state and private leases in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp had acquired permits to conduct off-shore seismic studies. Hilcorp and HEX-Furie Operating Alaska are two companies in Alaska that would be interested in bidding on new leases.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy spoke out on Twitter about it, but his source was also the CBS report, which he linked as the reference for his statement: “The Biden administration has yet again targeted Alaska and proved their lack of commitment to oil and gas development in the US. Gas prices are still hitting new highs and @POTUS halts the potential to drill for oil in over 1 million acres in Cook Inlet.”