Current Status

Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Lease Sale scheduled for January 6, 2021. 

On December 7, 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued the Notice of Sale and published the Detailed Statement of Sale for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Within these documents, the BLM has specified that sealed bids must be received by December 31, 2020 and will be opened via video livestream on January 6, 2021. In the Detailed Statement of Sale, almost the entire Coastal Plain was offered to up to lease to the highest bidder and the minimum bid price was set at $25.00 per acre.

The Notice of Lease Sale and Detailed Statement of Sale was issued before the end of the Call for Nominations period which is used to collect feedback from organizations and industry regarding which areas should be offered during the forthcoming lease sale. The Call for Nominations period closed on December 17, 2020. Submissions from Parties of the Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement to the BLM for the Call for Nominations period are available on the Documents page.

Seismic Exploration Proposed for Winter 2021 

Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation has proposed to undertake seismic exploration of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this winter.

Submissions from Parties of the Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement to the BLM on the Proposal are available on the Documents page.

Before this work can proceed, a number of permits and approvals are required.

On December 7, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) posted the application and proposed incidental harassment authorization for Polar Bears for the Marsh Creek East Seismic Exploration Project. The incidental harassment authorization, required under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, is available for public comment until January 7, 2021.

On December 16, 2020, the BLM posted the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Marsh Creek East Seismic Exploration Project for a two week public comment period. Comments will be accepted until December 30, 2021.

See the Get Involved page for details on how you can participate in these comment periods.

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction Filed 

On December 15, 2020, the Gwich’in Steering Committee and allied groups filed a motion in the District Court of Alaska for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the issuance of leases should a lease sale proceed on January 6, 2021 and to stop the authorization of the Marsh Creek East Seismic Exploration Project.

An expedited ruling has been requested for January 6, 2021.