5-year US drilling plan to tap Alaska, Gulf of Mexico

(S.F. GATE) The Obama administration on Thursday finalized a five-year plan for offshore drilling that focuses on development in explored areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, to the chagrin of oil and gas companies who were hoping for more territory.

The first sale of leases under the Interior Department’s 2012-2017 plan is set to take place this fall, with areas of the western Gulf of Mexico up for grabs. Eleven more Gulf of Mexico sales are planned, as well as three auctions of leases in the Cook Inlet near Anchorage and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska.

Industry wanted access to new areas, but Interior Secretary Salazar says the plan is smart and aggressive.

Read full article by Jennifer Dloughy in the SAN FRANCISO GATE