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RIGZONE: Shell Sets Sights on Closed Offshore Areas in Bristol Bay

Bby Tim Bradner
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Shell's Alaska exploration manager said his company is supporting federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing in the North Aleutians Shelf area off Bristol Bay in Southwest Alaska.
Chandler Wilhelm also said the company now doesn't believe development of several state oil and gas leases Shell acquired last fall on the nearby Alaska Peninsula will be economic without more acreage, and potentially more Related Pictures
The geology of the region is more prone to natural gas discoveries than oil, and Shell is studying a possible liquefied natural gas project as a way of commercializing possible gas discoveries, Wilhelm said in an interview with Alaska reporters.
The U.S. Minerals Management Service recently put the North Aleutians Shelf area on its five-year plan for further study but did not commit to conducting a lease sale in the area. A federal OCS sale was held in the 1980s, but companies that acquired leases–including Shell–sold them back to the federal government after a ban on development was placed in the area.
Shell has been aggressive in acquiring offshore Alaska acreage in a bid to establish a reserve position in northern regions of North America. The company acquired extensive OCS leases in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in a 2005 federal lease sale and has indicated interest in a planned federal sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast.
Shell drilled several exploration wells in the Chukchi in the 1980s.

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