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  • It could be big - 05/22/2016 (Full story) During a talk to the Alaska Support Industry Alliance on May 12 Pat Foley, senior vice president for Alaska operations for Caelus Energy Alaska, made some tantalizing hints of a possible large oil find at Smith Bay. Caelus, with its partners Nordaq Energy and L71 Resources, drilled two exploration w....

  • Mitigation costly headache - 05/22/2016 (Full story) The confused state of project impact mitigation in Alaska has become a major headache for natural resource developers, and for large projects there are big bucks involved. A major concern for the Alaska LNG Project, for example, is the potential cost of wetlands mitigation if it moves forward. Esti....

  • A November 2017 startup - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. is moving ahead with its Mustang development on Alaska's North Slope and anticipates first oil from the field in November 2017, Jack Laasch, the company's operations and strategy manager, told a meeting of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance on May 12. The company expec....

  • Credits on special session call after House rejects Senate bill - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) Changes to Alaska's oil tax credit system are still in play. Gov. Bill Walker's oil tax credit proposal, House Bill 247, failed to pass the Legislature on the last day of its extended regular session, May 18, and the governor included “HB 247 or a similar act” on his May 19 call for a special sessi....

  • Cosmo producing; oil from startup well trucked to Nikiski refinery - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) In a presentation to the Alaska House Rules Committee on May 11 Benjamin Johnson, president and CEO of BlueCrest Energy, confirmed that oil production from the company's Cosmopolitan oil field began in April as had been planned. The field, which lies under Cook Inlet, offshore Anchor Point in the so....

  • BP revises production forecast - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has revised its production forecast for the Prudhoe Bay unit. The operator of the unit expects crude oil and condensate production from the initial participating areas of the unit to be between 157,000 and 196,000 barrels per day in 2016 and natural gas liquids productio....

  • AIX planning Kenai Loop improvements - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) AIX Energy LLC is anticipating a range of projects over the next year and a half to improve the operation and production profile of its Kenai Loop natural gas field. But those plans likely will not include any new wells at the Cook Inlet area field. According to a plan of development filed in early....

  • Johnson: Proceed with caution on oil tax - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) House Rules Committee Chairman Craig Johnson is wrapping up his second term in charge of Rules, but he's also completing his 10th year on the House Resources Committee either as a member or co-chair. Having been part of the lengthy debate over HB 247, Gov. Bill Walker's oil tax credit bill, with Res....

  • Norway doing well under low oil prices - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) How did Norway do it? This northern European nation is rich in oil and gas, like Alaska, and has its own version of a Permanent Fund. But despite the worldwide collapse in oil prices Norway is thriving today. Its savings fund, which Norwegians call their Sovereign Wealth Fund, has a value of $800 b....

  • Administrators recommend Linc liquidation - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) Outside administrators have recommended that Linc Energy Ltd. liquidate its assets. In a May 13 report, administrators Stephen Longley, Grant Sparks and Martin Ford of Australian advisory firm PPB Advisory concluded that placing the independent exploration and production company into liquidation is....

  • Grappling with fire aftermath - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) sA handful of oil sands producers have started inching back on line as the fires around Fort McMurray have been steadily snuffed out. Others are at least two weeks from being able to even consider resuming operations and recovering lost supply of 1.2 million barrels per day of crude bitumen, nearly....

  • Canada's M&A market uncertain - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) The parade of assets for sale in the Canadian petroleum industry is growing in numbers, especially as companies scramble to meet the demand for debt payments, but the unknown is how many prospective buyers will show up. Some prospective sellers feel a growing confidence that any purchases won't lose....

  • Spartan 151 jack-up proposed for Sabre - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) Cook Inlet Energy has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to amend its oil discharge prevention and contingency plan to add use of the Spartan 151 jack-up rig to drill the Sabre exploration well in Trading Bay. The company said the proposed well would be drilled in the sum....

  • NordAq sells North Slope acreage - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) A small independent company out of the United Kingdom has acquired a large block of North Slope leases from NordAq Energy Inc., according to recent state lease reports. The state approved the transfer of 100 percent working interest and 87.5 percent royalty interest in 52 leases from NordAq to Golde....

  • RCA opens electric reliability docket - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) During a public meeting on May 11 the Regulatory Commission of Alaska formally opened a new docket dealing with reliability standards applied to electricity supplies in Alaska. The docket will primarily focus on the Alaska Railbelt but may also look at other aspects of the state's electrical systems....

  • Woodfibre close to LNG deal - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) The spotlight on British Columbia LNG proponents to see who leads the way in shipping LNG to Asia has landed once more on the Woodfibre consortium. If the current round of talks to line up customers bears fruit, the company hopes to start selling 1 million metric tons a year over 25 years to Guangzh....

  • EPA issues final methane emissions rule - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) The Environmental Protection Agency has published a final rule for new regulations for limiting methane and some other emissions from new or modified oil and gas industry equipment and natural gas transmission systems. The EPA originally announced the new regulations in August 2015, since when the....

  • Unravelling secrets of oil eating bacteria - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) In the spirit of gaining at least some benefit from a major disaster, a group of scientists from the University of Texas, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, has been using samples of oil contaminated water, gathered from the Gulf of Mexic....

  • Delegation pushes for OCS development - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) Alaska's Congressional delegation, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urging that Interior keeps all three oil and gas lease sales scheduled for the Alaska outer continental shelf in the final version of the lease sale program....

  • State approves Milne Point expansion - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) The state has approved an expansion of the Milne Point unit to return portions of two leases and two active disposal wells entirely within the North Slope unit's boundaries. By returning 1,268 acres from ADL 392703 and ADL 47438 back to the unit, the May 12 decision also returns the entirety of the....

  • Oil Patch Bits: PND announces new hires and professional achievements - 05/22/2016 (Full story) PND Engineers Inc. recently said that it is proud to announce the new hires of Nathan Harris, E.I.T., and Brandi Opsahl, E.I.T., who recently joined the firm as staff engineers. Both are lifelong Alaskans, and both graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with bachelor's degrees in civil en....

  • US rig count drops 9 to 406, all-time low - 05/22/2016 (Login to read Full story) The number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by nine the week ending May 13 to 406, another all-time low amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 888 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said 328 rigs sought oil and 86 natural gas. One w....


  • The Explorers 2016: Trends in Alaska exploration - 05/22/2016 (Full story) When a sample size is small, it's best to consider circumstances on a case-by-case basis. But even in Alaska, where the sample size for exploration is relatively small compared to regions in the Lower 48 and Canada, little trends seem to inevitably emerge each year. Here are a few themes from this....

  • The Explorers 2016: Licensing program draws interest to Interior, Southcentral - 05/22/2016 (Full story) The vast majority of oil and gas exploration activity in Alaska occurs on lands or waters that companies lease from the state or federal governments or from Native tribes. But the vast majority of Alaska is not available for leasing. To encourage activities outside of the traditional leasing areas,....

  • The Explorers 2016: Accumulate targeting source rock - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Accumulate Energy Alaska Inc. is exploring for unconventional resources in Alaska at a time when lower oil prices are adding risk to traditional conventional plays in the state. And like Great Bear and Royale, which arrived before it, Accumulate Energy is targeting both conventional and unconvention....

  • The Explorers 2016: Ahtna takes charge on exploration - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Several years ago, when rising energy prices were driving people from the Copper River region, Ahtna Inc. launched a search for a nearby and affordable supply of natural gas. As The Explorers was going to press, the Alaska Native corporation was about to begin that effort by drilling the Tolsona No.....

  • The Explorers 2016: Apache leaves Alaska after six years - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Apache Corp. arrived in Alaska with whispers and left with whimpers. When the Houston-based independent began sniffing around the state in 2010, false rumors spread that the company might make an offer to buy the Prudhoe Bay field. Instead, the company acquired considerable acreage across the entir....

  • The Explorers 2016: Armstrong Oil & Gas takes over North Slope project - 05/22/2016 (Full story) During its two decades in the state, Armstrong Oil & Gas Inc. has demonstrated two successful models for how a small independent company in Alaska can carry a prospect from exploration into development: find a bigger partner or find a smaller field. Now, Armstrong is facing a third option: being th....

  • The Explorers 2016: ASRC finally operates North Slope exploration - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Although it has been an important player in the oilfield services sector for years, and has recently been learning the ropes of Arctic exploration and production, Arctic Slope Regional Corp. officially became an explorer this year through ASRC Exploration LLC. In early January 2016, the Alaska Oil....

  • The Explorers 2016: Aurora proposes major exploration after long hiatus - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Aurora is returning to exploration. The small Alaska-based company has been operating in Cook Inlet longer than any other independent and has revived many small natural gas fields ignored by larger players. Those projects involved resuscitating fields by conducting maintenance activities on existing....

  • The Explorers 2016: BlueCrest brings Cosmopolitan online - 05/22/2016 (Full story) By the time this edition of The Explorers goes to print, BlueCrest Energy Inc. will almost certainly have moved from the “explorers” column into the “producers” column. Whether the company remains an explorer in the future remains to be seen. The Fort Worth-based independent expected to bring the C....

  • The Explorers 2016: Caelus taking a risk on Smith Bay - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Caelus Energy LLC offers a reason for concern and a reason for hope. A local subsidiary of the Texas-based independent is slowing its development of the Nuna satellite at its Oooguruk unit because persistently low oil prices and the resulting political uncertainty have challenged the economics of th....

  • The Explorers 2016: CIRI takes over Shadura exploration - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Over the past year, NordAq Energy Inc. has handed over control over its two most advanced exploration ventures to other companies in the region. The Alaska-based independent sold a 75 percent interest in the Smith Bay program to Caelus Energy Alaska Inc., while Cook Inlet Region Inc. took over opera....

  • The Explorers 2016: ConocoPhillips presses deeper into NPR-A - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Even though Alaska is an expensive place to work, with a history of quick political changes and a resource base generally thought to be in decline, ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. has become increasing enamored by the North Slope region over the past few years. The largest oil company in Alaska believes....

  • The Explorers 2016: Doyon drilling third Nenana well this summer - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Doyon Ltd. has shown great persistence in its search for natural gas. The Alaska Native corporation for the Interior region has been exploring within its territory for nearly 15 years and is actively continuing the program this year. The company completed a fourth seismic survey in the Nenana basin....

  • Th Explorers 2016: Furie planning major exploration effort - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Furie Operating Alaska LLC became the newest producer in Alaska in late November 2015, when natural gas production started from the offshore Kitchen Lights unit. But given that the unit is the largest in the Cook Inlet region, exploration activities will remain a priority even as development drillin....

  • The Explorers 2016: Great Bear turns to seismic for source rocks - 05/22/2016 (Full story) To date, Great Bear Petroleum Operating LLC has drilled three exploration wells and commissioned five 3-D seismic surveys on a patch of acreage in the central North Slope. That disparity highlights the challenges the company has faced as it tries to understand the potential for developing source roc....

  • The Explorers 2016: Hilcorp stepping beyond development - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Hilcorp Energy Co. came to Alaska to develop and has only drilled exploration wells when it needed to expand the size and scope of its existing development operations. But in March 2016, Hilcorp Alaska LLC began permitting a standalone exploration project in the southern Kenai Peninsula. If the subs....

  • The Explorers 2016: Markets challenge two Linc Energy projects - 05/22/2016 (Full story) Economics have quickly altered Linc Energy Alaska Inc.'s exploration efforts. As global oil prices fells and local natural gas supplies increased, the local subsidiary of Australian independent Linc Energy Ltd. scaled back its development plans for the Umiat oil field and suspended its underground c....

  • The Explorers 2016: Bankruptcy slows Miller Energy's pace - 05/22/2016 (Full story) As The Explorers was going to press, Miller Energy Resources Inc. was in the final stages of bankruptcy proceedings that will dramatically change its operations in Alaska. The Houston-based independent is the parent company of two Alaska operators — Cook Inlet Energy LLC and Savant Alaska LLC — as w....

  • The Explorers 2016: Royale sells portion of Alaska acreage - 05/22/2016 (Full story) A year ago, Royale Energy Inc. hoped to resolve a legal dispute with a partner and resume plans to explicitly target North Slope source rocks sometime in early 2016. While the San Diego-based independent resolved the legal dispute toward the end of 2015, the exploration campaign was delayed again, i....

  • The Explorers 2016: Shell ends Alaska exploration after a long uphill climb - 05/22/2016 (Full story) This is Shell's last appearance in The Explorers — at least for the foreseeable future. After more than a decade of operations costing approximately $6 billion and spawning a series of legal challenges, regulatory delays, logistical problems and technical flubs, the company officially ended its offs....

  • The Explorers 2016: Usibelli remains quiet after 2014 exploration - 05/22/2016 (Full story) After a decade-long path through regulatory and legal delays, Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. launched a coalbed methane exploration program in the Healy region in 2014. What comes next is uncertain. The coal-mining firm drilled the 1,265-foot well HC No. 1 in mid-2014 in search of a nearby source of natura....

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  • Kulluk appears intact and stable 01/03/2013
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