The US Department of the Interior (DoI) has released a final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193, offshore Alaska.
The FSEIS will play an important role in resolving federal court issues on the 2008 oil and gas leases.
It updates the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) estimates of the entire range of production levels from offshore oil fields that could be developed in the Chukchi Sea and the associated environmental effects of the lease sale.
The original environmental impact statement was unveiled in 2007, and the lease sale took place in 2008.
BOEM was forced to carry out additional analysis due to the legal challenges and federal court decisions.
The recent decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was associated to the agency’s estimates of production levels from offshore oil fields.
The FSEIS will estimate the highest amount of production that could result from Lease Sale 193.
A waiting period of 30 days will be in place before a final decision on the lease sale.
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said: "Alaska is a critical component of our nation’s energy portfolio, and the Chukchi Sea has substantial oil and gas potential, as well as sensitive marine and coastal resources that Alaska Native communities depend on for subsistence.
"The updated analysis is a major step toward resolving the 2008 oil and gas leases that have been tied up in the courts for years. We remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration in this unique, sensitive and often challenging environment."