The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced plans to offer approximately 1.09 million acres in lease sale for oil and gas exploration and development in Cook Inlet off Alaska’s south central coast.

Slated to take place in June 2017, the proposed Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244 will offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the Cook Inlet Planning Area for leasing.

The blocks considered for the lease sale cover from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south.

The sale will be the US Department of the Interior’s final Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 in Cook Inlet, BOEM said.

US BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said: “Following a robust environmental analysis, we are moving forward with the Lease Sale 244 process.

“We look forward to hearing Governor Walker’s comments and recommendations as we continue to balance environmental considerations with careful development.”

In December 2016, the BOEM said it is planning to offer 48 million acres in lease sale for oil and gas exploration and development in Central Gulf of Mexico.

The sale will include acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as well as all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area (CPA). It comprises approximately 9,118 blocks in water depths ranging from 9ft to more than 11,115ft.

Last year, the US Interior department and the BOEM have released the final plan for the development for the OCS for 2017-2022 to meet the nation’s energy needs.

The final program offers 11 potential lease sales in four planning areas including 10 sales in the portions of three Gulf of Mexico Program Areas and one sale off the coast of Alaska in the Cook Inlet Program Area.

Image: US intends to meet its growing energy needs. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/