November 09, 1998 --- Vol. 4, No. 52November 1998

North Slope production up as temperatures drop

October crude oil production on the North Slope rose almost 10 percent over September, as temperatures dropped making gas handling equipment more effective.

The October temperature at pump station No. 1 averaged 25.8 degrees F, compared to an average of 42.5 degrees F in September.

North Slope crude production averaged 1.23 million barrels a day in October, up 9.35 percent from an average of 1.11 million barrels a day in September, but down 2.7 percent from an average of 1.26 million barrels a day in October 1997.

Cook Inlet production averaged 33,096 barrels a day in October, up 5 percent from an average of 31,406 barrels a day for September.

BP crude price down again

BP America’s November Alaska North Slope crude oil contract price for West Coast delivery dropped to $13.38 a barrel, down 76 cents, after rising $1.63 to $14.14 a barrel for October.

BP’s contract price has averaged $13.30 a barrel so far this year, compared to $19.68 a barrel for the comparable period in 1997. While there has been some month-to-month upward price movement, of 11 prices posted this year, eight have been down from the previous month.

The high so far for the year was $16.41 a barrel in January; the low was $11.72 a barrel in July.

BP is the largest producer of ANS crude and the only producer to post contract prices.

Frontier well deferred

A west side Cook Inlet exploration well to have been drilled by Frontier Petroleum Corp. of Syracuse, N.Y., in 1999 has been delayed for a year.

Ken Boyd, director of the Department of Natural Resources’ division of oil and gas, said Nov. 6 that the division was in negotiations with Frontier to defer the work a year.

Frontier had begun permitting for a well to be drilled in 1999, as required by its unit agreement with the state, but wasn’t able to complete permitting in time to begin work this winter, Boyd said. The proposed well was to have been approximately 2 miles west of Cook Inlet and 3 miles north of Drift River.

Frontier acquired three onshore leases southwest of West Foreland from Marathon Oil Co., identified two prospects on the leases and submitted a four-year unit plan of exploration to the state, committing to drill one 5,000-foot well in each prospect to test the Jurassic Talkeetna formation. The division of oil and gas approved a unit plan earlier this year, requiring Frontier to begin drilling one well by the end of February next year, and a second well by the end of March the following year.

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