The U.S. says it is considering selling millions of acres of land in Alaska to oil and gas producers
WASHINGTON (AP) The U, the United States and several European nations are considering selling hundreds of millions of hectares of land to oil companies and other investors in Alaska amid a decline in global demand.
The U.N. Environment Program said Friday it is evaluating Alaska’s sale of millions more acres, as part of a long-term development plan for the North Slope region.
The announcement came as oil and natural gas producers across the globe continue to scramble for ways to reduce their carbon footprints.
Alaskan oil and mineral leases account for more than half of the state’s natural gas production, and the state is a key market for oil and other foreign products.
Alaska is one of the country’s most prolific producers of natural gas, and its energy policies are often the subject of criticism.
Alaska has been criticized by environmental groups for permitting drilling in remote areas, allowing oil and coal companies to drill beneath the state and allowing oil companies to access some of the pristine natural gas deposits.
The program said the sale of land is one option the U.s. could pursue to meet global demand for gas.
It said it has no further details about the sale.
The North Slopes, which stretch from the Arctic Ocean to Alaska’s northern coast, are one of Alaska’s most productive regions, with the state producing more than 10 billion cubic feet of natural-gas per day.
The area includes some of Alaska State’s most pristine natural resources, including vast oil and oil-bearing deposits.