Alaska News

Shell's purchase of BG includes interests in onshore Alaska leases

There's an Arctic Alaska footnote to Shell's $69.7 billion acquisition of the BG Group: Leases covering a large amount of territory on the North Slope go along with the deal.

BG, a British company that focuses on liquefied natural gas, holds interests in leases in several undeveloped areas of Arctic Alaska.

The company has interests in active leases covering 94,508.63 acres of state territory in the North Slope foothills, according to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas. In the National Petroleum Reserve, BG has interests in active leases covering 566,234 acres, according to data from the Bureau of Land Management, which manages that federal territory.

Partners with BG are Anadarko Petroleum and Petro-Canada, according to the lease reports.

As of now, there are no permit applications pending for any activities on the state leases, said Diane Hunt, a special projects and external relations coordinator for the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas.

In the National Petroleum Reserve, exploration and development activities have been largely on leases owned by ConocoPhillips, and not on the leases partly owned by BG.

For Shell, the BG acquisition will mean a big boost in its share of the global LNG market. But it might not mean much for the company's future in Alaska.


Shell is focused on its offshore Arctic exploration program and does not have any plan for now to do anything with those BG onshore leases, company spokeswoman Megan Baldino said.

"At this time there is no connection between BG Group's assets in Alaska and our existing offshore plans. Our exploration plans have been years in the making and are the subject of detailed regulatory processes with the US government," she said in an email.

Several years ago, BG expressed interest in North Slope natural gas and the possibility of developing it for export. But BG, despite its Alaska leases, was not among the five entities that bid in 2007 for an Alaska Gasline Inducement Act license.

Yereth Rosen

Yereth Rosen was a reporter for Alaska Dispatch News.