Three small independent petroleum companies submitted bids in Wednesday’s Cook Inlet state lease sale, winning rights on eight oil and gas tracts covering 21,268 acres.

The state received $451,495 in bonus bids offered by Furie Operating Alaska, LLC; HEX LLC; and Strong Energy Resources LLC. 

Furie is the operator of the Kitchen Lights unit in northern Cook Inlet and is a current natural gas producer. Acreage acquired by the company is near leases currently held and that are producing gas.

Hex recently acquired majority working interest in Furie and bid separately in the sale on other prospects, including onshore Kenai Peninsula tracts. Strong Energy is new entrant in the Cook Inlet region, but its owners have previously been engaged in exploration the Inlet, according to knowledgeable sources.

“It is gratifying to see this renewed bid activity in Cook Inlet lease sales from both established operators and new entrants,” said Sara Longan, Deputy Commissioner for oil and gas at the Department of Natural Resources. 

“This is further evidence the (state’s) division is doing a good job at conducting regular, predictable lease sales, and that the industry is responding well.” 

All the lease sale tracts receiving bids had been leased in the past and are located near existing oil and gas development, Longan said. Existing information and proximity to infrastructure will enhance new exploration and development potential for these tracts, she said.

In a statement, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said “Natural gas from Cook Inlet plays an important role in keeping Alaskans’ homes and businesses warm, and keeping Alaskans employed and productive,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. 

“The success of this lease sale demonstrates the continued contribution of the energy industry to Alaska’s economy and way of life,” the governor said.

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