Several previous Cook Inlet lease sales have canceled due to lack of industry interest.
In a new proposed five-year plan for offshore drilling, the Department of the Interior floated the idea of auctioning off leases to oil and gas companies in the inlet in 2026. That’s in addition to 10 lease sales proposed for the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil and gas company Hilcorp paid federal regulators $180,500 for taking too long to inspect and repair dozens of leaks in Cook Inlet and on the North Slope.
Cook Inlet belugas have been listed as endangered since 2008. NOAA estimates that 279 individuals remain.