June 28, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 26June 2000

The Osprey has landed

Cook Inlet has a new platform: Forcenergy Inc. set its Osprey platform at Redoubt Shoals in Cook Inlet early in the morning of June 28. Gary Carlson, Forcenergy's vice president for Alaska, told PNA that working with the tides was crucial and the tugs got the platform on location about 2-2:30 in the morning.

"Captain Al Anderson with Crowley informed us all that the Osprey had landed," Carlson said. "It touched down at about 4:30 a.m."

A critical part of that installation was to be able to pull the launch barge out from between the platform legs before the tide started coming back in -- and that happened within an hour of touchdown.

Piles will be driven after the Fourth of July, Carlson said, and the platform should be fully installed before the end of July.

Carlson credited installation contractor Stolt Comex Seaway for an excellent job in planning and design, but said key subcontractor Crowley made it all work.

The mating of the deck and legs of the platform was done in Port Graham, and the Port Graham Corp. supported the project with logistics, expediting and housing. Carlson said there was quite a flotilla at the installation site off the West Forelands: Tugs from Crowley and Cook Inlet Tug and Barge and a smaller barge from Homer were accompanied by a Coast Guard clipper providing security.

Forcenergy hopes to be drilling before the end of September. Carlson said that Nabors Alaska Drilling is putting the rig together in Anchorage and will start mobilizing around mid-August.

State requires plan for Prudhoe Bay development

In exchange for approving BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. as the sole operator at Prudhoe Bay, the state is making some demands.

The Department of Natural Resources has responded to a June 1 request that BP Exploration (Alaska) be approved to replace Phillips Alaska Inc. as operator of the Prudhoe Bay unit eastern operating area by requiring annual operating plans for the initial oil rim and gas cap participating areas at Prudhoe, something the Prudhoe Bay oil and gas lease owners have refused to give the state in the past.

The decision, signed June 27 by Ken Boyd, director of the DNR Division of Oil and Gas, also requires submittal of annual reservoir development objectives and field development plans compiled by the Prudhoe Bay owners as part of the Prudhoe Bay unit operating agreement -- and plans approved by the Prudhoe Bay producers from 1995 through 1999.

The state also wants an application by Oct. 1 for modification of the Prudhoe Bay unit agreement to provide for a single unit operator. Boyd noted in the decision that the operators have informed the state that applications for cross-assignment of leases -- necessary to align lease interests -- will not be filed until the deadline established by the regulations, July 11.

The first annual plan of development for the Prudhoe Bay unit oil rim and gas cap participating areas -- collectively the Permo-Triassic reservoir -- is due Sept. 15. Furthermore, Boyd said in the decision, after Jan. 1, 2001, "the Prudhoe Bay Unit operator shall not develop or produce from the Permo-Triassic Reservoir except in accordance with a current plan of development approved by the Commissioner."

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