Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a 19.3 million-acre wilderness refuge—an area of land roughly equal in size to South Carolina, located in northeast Alaska.
  • ANWR was created by Congress in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) which specifically set aside 1.56 million acres of non-wilderness for exploration of its oil and gas development potential.
  • The 1.56 million acres which were expressly set aside for oil and gas development within ANWR is commonly referred to as the “1002 Area” since this is the section of ANILCA excluding the area from wilderness designation.
  • December 22, 2017, Congressional authorization for 1002 Area lease sales through Tax Cuts and Jobs Act directing the Secretary of the Interior to develop the lease sale program similar to the NPR-A
  • August 17, 2020, BLM Record of Decision reached approving the lease sale program to carry out the statutory directive of Congress
  • Dec. 7, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posted the Detailed Statement of Sale for the Coastal Plain (1002 Area) Lease Sale. Bids were accepted until Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Jan. 6, 2021, the BLM opened the submitted sealed bids and identified AIDEA as the successful bidder on 9 of 11 tracts.
  • Jan. 19, 2021, the BLM announced the official leaseholders; AIDEA was announced as the leaseholder on the 7 tracts for which it submitted signed leases.
  • Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden was inaugurated and announced moratorium on all oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the details of which have not yet been released.
  • Of the 22 available tracts, AIDEA bid on 11 tracts and was the successful bidder for 9 tracts. AIDEA elected to proceed as a leaseholder on 7 tracts in this initial lease sale.

Tract #

AIDEA Bid Amount

Successful Bidder

Tract Leaseholder

Tract 16

$1,437,675

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 17

$1,096,900

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 22

$1,404,200

AIDEA

None

Tract 23

$1,470,750

AIDEA

None

Tract 24

$1,454,400

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 25

$1,215,075

Knik Arm Services

Knik Arm Services

Tract 26

$1,335,300

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 27

$1,311,175

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 29

$586,150

Regenerate Alaska

Regenerate Alaska

Tract 30

$1,169,775

AIDEA

AIDEA

Tract 31

$1,338,650

AIDEA

AIDEA

 
  • AIDEA chose to finalize leases on seven of the nine tracts it was awarded because we view these as the tracts that best preserve access to the 1002 Area’s large resource potential while limiting the footprint for responsible development.
  • The US Congress authorized the 1002 Area lease sale in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.
  • In reaching its Record of Decision to go forward with the 1002 Area sale:
    • BLM undertook an extensive public scoping period and public review period for the Draft Environmental Impact Study.
    • BLM received over 1.8 million public comment submissions on more than 8,000 unique topics.
    • BLM and the Department of the Interior (DOI) met with representatives of a broad range of stakeholders, including local and state governments, tribes, Canadian government, Alaska Native corporations, and industry and environmental organizations.
  • AIDEA is a public corporation, duly established and incorporated to undertake business within the State of Alaska and managed by an independent board of directors.
  • According to statute 44.88.830.a5, AIDEA has the authority under the Arctic Infrastructure Development Fund to enter into leases and to enter into agreements with government entities.
  • As outlined in the Detailed Statement of Sale, leases may be held by “Private, public or municipal corporations organized under the laws of the United States or of any State…” under which qualifies AIDEA as an authorized bidder.
  • AIDEA functions as the State’s development finance authority, established to partner with public and private institutions and to responsibly develop the State’s resources for economic development within the state like the 1002 Area lease sale.
  • AIDEA’s role is to identify economic development opportunities within the state and to partner with private capital investors for fulfillment of those opportunities. We have a strong interest in ensuring that Alaska has tangible economic benefits that come from future development of its abundant natural resources and we have a distinct interest to ensure that it is done so responsibly.
  • AIDEA intends to use its resources to advance the responsible development of these leases directly and in partnership with private capital investors.
  • The leases AIDEA holds are for an initial term of 10 years, which includes exclusive rights of access to explore for reserves and develop the tracts.
  • The Record of Decision (ROD) established Required Operating Procedures (ROPs) for the 1002 Area. The ROPs define pre-application requirements, procedures, management practices, and design features. Additionally, any preliminary exploration activity, like seismic operations, requires land use authorizations from the BLM. All of this takes time to responsibly prepare.
  • AIDEA’s future steps will be to undertake an update to the geological surveys and initiate the planning work necessary to responsibly conduct early phase exploration activities.
  • Responsible development refers to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations regarding ecology, cultural, and geology – including state and local laws which are some of the most stringent in ensuring responsible development of Alaska’s resources.
  • Of the 1.5 million acres designated within the 1002 Area for its oil and gas potential, the BLM has stipulated that only a maximum of 2,000 acres, or roughly 3 square miles, can be used for surface infrastructure development. This means that any surface development footprint for oil and gas operations is already mandated to be less than .001% of the 1002 Area.
  • The footprint of drilling pads on the North Slope has declined by 80 percent since the 1970s, while new and safer technology has expanded the reach of underground drilling by 4,000 percent.
  • The result is that less land is being used to develop resources than ever before; many modern sites cover just a few acres and are miles apart.

There has been consistent and vocal support for responsible development of the 1002 Area from a cross-section of Alaskans, including tribal, local, state, and federal levels.

Alaska’s U.S. Congressional Delegation
Alaska State Legislature
  • Since 1997, the Alaska State Legislature has introduced and passed resolutions in support of the 1002 Area’s development during each legislative cycle.
 Alaska Governors
North Slope Tribal and Village Leadership
  • Majority of North Slope Tribal and Village leadership, including the Native Village of Kaktovik—the only federally-recognized community in the 1002 Area.
  • More than 20 other Alaska Native organizations and corporations located in and around the 1002 Area have advocated for responsible oil and gas development in the 1002 Area, including:  
    • Native Village of Kaktovik, Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation, City of Kaktovik, North Slope Borough, Arctic Slope Native Association, City of Anaktuvuk Pass, City of Point Hope, Native Village of Atqasuk, Olgoonik Corporation, City of Atqasuk, City of Wainwright, Native Village of Point Lay, Tikigaq Corporation, Atqasuk Corporation, City of Utqiagvik, I?isagvik College, Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation, Nunamiut Corporation, Native Village of Point Hope, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Wainwright Tribal Council, Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, Native Village of Barrow, and North Slope Borough School District.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey estimates this area contains 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.
  • Estimated potential to add upwards of 1.4 million barrels per day to Alaska’s production.
  • 55,000 – 130,000 jobs are expected to be created, according to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
  • Estimated up to $50 billion in future royalties, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • Much of the economic development and jobs across Alaska’s North Slope communities is the result of responsible development of oil and gas resources.
  • Public funding from taxes on oil and gas infrastructure contributes to economic security and provides revenue to fund local services, schools, health clinics, housing, emergency response, water and wastewater, heat and electric utilities, and countless essential services.
  • Half of all proceeds earned through the Coastal Plain Oil & Gas Lease Sale are shared with the State of Alaska.
  • Fixed royalty of 16.67% established, half of which goes to the State.

Jan. 20, 2021

President Biden announces moratorium on all oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Jan. 19, 2021

Bureau of Land Management announces official leaseholders; AIDEA holds 7 tracts.

Jan. 6, 2021

Bureau of Land Management opens submitted sealed bids; AIDEA is the successful bidder of 9 of 11 tracts.

Dec. 31, 2020

Deadline to submit qualified bids on leases.

Dec. 7, 2020

Bureau of Land Management posts Detailed Statement of Sale.

Aug. 17, 2020

Record of Decision (ROD) reached.

Dec. 22, 2017

President Trump signs the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which includes authorization for responsible development in 1002 Area of ANWR.

May 1998

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment. Its mid-range estimate of oil in place rises from 13.8 billion barrels to 20.7 billion barrels.

Dec. 1995

President Clinton vetoes the Balanced Budget Act, and with it Congress’ ANWR drilling authorization.

Oct. 1995

Congress authorizes oil drilling in the coastal plain of ANWR.

Sept. 1987

Department of Interior recommends to Congress that the coastal plain be open for drilling exploration.

Feb. 1987

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for ANWR exploration is published.

1983-85

Approximately 1,180 line miles of two-dimensional geophysical data acquired in ANWR.

Dec. 2, 1980

President Carter signs the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which expands the refuge from 8.9 million acres to 19.3 million acres. The refuge is renamed the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The law mandates that potential oil reserves in the refuge’s 1.5 million-acre coastal plain (1002 area) be considered for development, but only if authorized by Congress.

Dec. 18, 1971

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) is signed into law, which grants Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation surface rights to 69,000 acres within the refuge.

1960

President Eisenhower designates 8.9 million acres in northeastern Alaska as a protected wildlife refuge.

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