WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior has released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193.
The original Environmental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193 was published in 2007, and the lease sale was conducted in 2008. Subsequent legal challenges and federal court decisions remanded the sale back to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for further analysis. The most recent decision, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was specifically related to the agency’s estimates of production levels from offshore oil fields that might be developed in the Chukchi Sea.
Following the publication of the FSEIS for Lease Sale 193 in the Federal Register, there will be at least a 30-day waiting period before a final decision can be made on the lease sale. In early 2014, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) suspended all of the Chukchi Sea leases issued in Lease Sale 193. The suspensions remain in effect until a Record of Decision is issued.
If the lease sale is affirmed, BOEM and BSEE require a review a company’s specific exploration plan, an application for permit to drill, and other materials before any exploration activity could occur.