Hilcorp makes industry’s first move in decades into federal waters of Cook Inlet

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 03:33:15 PM. Hilcorp spent $3.9 million for new exploration territory in Alaska's oldest and sometimes-overlooked oil and gas region.
For the first time in decades, an oil company has put significant money into leases in federal waters of Southcentral Alaska's Cook Inlet. Hilcorp Alaska LLC, a unit of privately held Hilcorp Energy Co. and an emerging force in the Alaska oil and gas industry, spent over $3 million for exploration rights to 14 federal offshore leases covering about 76,615 acres in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp, the dominant Cook Inlet oil producer, was the only company bidding in the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's lease sale held Wednesday. It was also the only company bidding in a state Cook Inlet lease sale held earlier Wednesday, picking up six tracts for a total $922,392.30 in bids, according to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas. "The leases we acquired today help strengthen our ability to continue to provide energy and jobs for Alaskans," Hilcorp spokeswoman Lori Nelson said in an email. The Cook Inlet basin is Alaska's oldest oil- and gas-producing region, with operations that date back to the 1950s. Production volumes, reserves and industry investments there are dwarfed by those on the North Slope, which holds far bigger oil fields. Wednesday's federal offshore lease sale was the first in Alaska since 2008, when Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies bid a record $2.66 billion for exploration rights in the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic. Lease sales for federal waters in the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska held in 2007 and 2005 also received brisk bidding that was led by...Read more
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