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Bush budget sees ANWR drilling leases in 2007

Revenue from ANWR has been included in past budgets so this is not new, but it continues to show the confidence that ANWR will be opened and that there will be significant revenues from leasing the open area.

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling would raise an initial $2.4 billion in leasing fees, half of which would be shared with the state of Alaska, the Bush administration said in proposed fiscal 2006 budget documents released on Monday.

Democrats and moderate Senate Republicans oppose legislation to allow oil companies access to the wildlife refuge in northern Alaska.

With Republicans having a bigger majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives this year, the White House included the ANWR drilling plan in its proposed government budget for fiscal 2006, which begins on Oct. 1.

The administration said in its budget documents that it hopes to begin leasing tracts in ANWR in 2007.

The refuge, which is home to a variety of wildlife such as polar bears and migratory birds, stretches across 19 million acres (7.7 million hectares). The White House wants to offer 1.5 million acres (607,000 hectares) in the coastal plain for oil and natural gas exploration leases.

The Interior Department estimates the refuge could hold between 5.7 billion and 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil. If the refuge was opened to drilling, it would take about eight years before the area reached full production of around 800,000 to 1 million barrels per day, according to the Energy Department.

Permalink :: Posted by Clay Butcher on February 07, 2005 :: ::
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