Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 5:02 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Input sought on Cook Inlet oil and gas leases

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — The U.S. Interior Department announced Saturday it would be seeking input on a possible oil and gas lease sale in Cook Inlet

In a news release, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the request for comments is a key step in the planning process for responsible oil and gas development along Alaska's shoreline."Today's announcement is part of our commitment to increasing safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy for America," he said.

The leases would cover an area with more than 75 percent of the estimated undiscovered and recoverable oil and gas resources in the United States, the Interior Department said.

This request for input asks industry, the public, and key stakeholders opinions about geologic, biological, archaeological, subsistence and/or socio-economic conditions that might influence leasing and development decisions.

Saturday's announcement is the first step in the development process, with any future decisions to be based on both stakeholder input and an environmental review, according to the Interior Department.

Between 1978 and 1985, 13 exploration wells were drilled in the federal waters in the Cook Inlet Planning Area. No active oil or gas exploration or development facilities are currently in federal waters. State waters contain 16 production platforms, 12 of which are currently active.

The request for information notice is at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.