The Department of Energy (DOE) is in the final months of activities related to selling resources, equipment and facilities at the government’s only operating oilfield, Naval Petroleum Reserve-3 (NPR-3), including the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC).
The sale was initially set in motion by a November 2011 decision by the federal government that it was no longer in the national interest for DOE to continue to own NPR-3, located in the Eastern Rocky Mountains about 40 miles north of Casper, Wyoming. RMOTC used resources and facilities at the 10,000-acre site to assist America’s oil and gas industry in developing and field testing new technologies.
DOE conducted a thorough study delivered to Congress in June 2013, concluding that selling rather than transferring the NPR-3 property to the Department of the Interior for leasing would be the preferred option for DOE. The report also included the planned sales process, which has been underway since last year, and expects to conclude with transfer of the title to a new owner by the end of calendar year 2014.
From the very beginning of the sales process, there has been a heavy emphasis on openness and transparency. Since late last year, DOE has been selling equipment and materials in several phases as part of the sale of NPR-3, with these personal property sales taking place approximately every five weeks. All of the sales have been advertised via the RMOTC website , where interested parties can click on the “Latest News” section to stay informed about upcoming sales, as well as “Items for Sale” to view showcased items and sale details.
The sales news has also been presented on RMOTC social media, such as Facebook; Twitter; and Linkedin. Additionally, sales news has also been cross-posted on FE’s Facebook and Twitter sites (see links on this page). Several more sales will take place between now and the end of 2014. All sales are through the General Services Administration (GSA) online auctions, and are also showcased on GSA’s auctions website.
Meanwhile, Meagher Energy Advisors of Denver, Colo., is under contract to serve as DOE’s investment broker to conduct the competitive sale of all rights, title and interests in the surface and mineral estates of NPR-3. Crowley Fleck PLLP Attorneys of Cheyenne, Wyo., has been retained to assist in preparation of sales documents. Here is a brief sketch of this portion of the sales process that is now underway: In late June DOE issued an Invitation for Qualifications (IFQ) for the sale of the oilfield. This solicitation is to determine the pool of qualified bidders for NPR-3. Qualification will be based on a series of certifications that all IFQ applicants are asked to provide. They are also encouraged to provide information to assist DOE in determining the applicant’s ability to acquire NPR-3. All IFQ submittals must be received by DOE, 907 N. Poplar, Suite 150, Casper, WY 82601, no later than 4 p.m Mountain time on July 15, 2014.
DOE and Meagher representatives will then review the applicant IFQ submissions; those meeting the certification criteria will be notified of their acceptance to continue to process. On July 29, 2014, all successful IFQ applicants will be issued Invitation for Bid (IFB) packages, which will include the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) and the Deed for NPR-3 that the successful bidder will be expected to sign at closing.
Competitive bidding will take the form of a single, one-time sealed bid (first and final bids), due to DOE on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, by 4 p.m. Mountain time. Bidders will not be able to re-bid after this initial submittal. Bids to purchase must be all cash; a deposit in the amount of $500,000 must accompany the completed Bid Form and be provided in the form of an electronic wire. All received bid deposits will be deposited with the U.S. Treasury in a non-interest-bearing account.
After the bidding deadline, DOE and Meagher will review and evaluate the bid submissions and notify the participants of acceptance or rejection on or before Oct. 31, 2014. The winning bidder will have until Nov. 7, 2014 to sign and return the PSA, and deposit an additional amount, if required, in the form of an electronic wire, that will equal 10 percent of the total bid when added to the bid deposit. The balance of the bid amount will be due at closing – planned for Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at a location to be determined.