Lease Sale of Oil-Rich Land Partly Blocked

From Times Wire Reports

A judge in Anchorage has blocked part of a federal lease sale of oil-rich land on the North Slope, but the government said it could still sell sections outside an area environmentalists want to preserve for migratory birds and calving caribou.

The original sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska would have included the Teshekpuk Lake area, which sits above 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil, federal estimates say.

Environmental groups argued that a 600,000-acre section that includes the lake contains some of the most important wetlands in the Arctic. The ruling by Judge James K. Singleton protected this area.