ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The U.S. Department of Interior is seeking to boost oil and gas activity in northern Alaska by rolling back some leasing restrictions.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports Assistant Interior Secretary Joe Balash says the department will soon begin evaluating the 2013 management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, looking for areas where it can be revised.

The Bureau of Land Management is scheduled to begin the 45-day scoping period this week to seek input on what should be considered when drafting the environmental impact statement, which will direct the work.

Balash says it’s an appropriate time to rewrite the plan as drilling technology has advanced and the Nanushuk geologic formation has emerged.

He says rewriting the plan should take about a year.

Information from: (Anchorage) Alaska Journal of Commerce,