August 16, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 38August 2000

State gets bids on 27 tracts in areawide Cook Inlet lease sale

Forcenergy Inc. was the most active bidder at the state's 2000 Cook Inlet areawide oil and gas lease sale, held Aug. 16 in Anchorage. The company took 13 of 27 tracts receiving bids on the sale.

There were 27 bids on 27 tracts, Division of Oil and Gas Director Ken Boyd said before the bids were read. Because title and adjudication work for areawide sales is done only after the bids are opened, Boyd said, the $919,752 sum of bids submitted is the maximum amount the state will receive. The number will get a little smaller when the exact acreage in the tracts is established, he said.

Forcenergy Inc. bid on and won 13 tracts, and at $36.01 per acre bid on tract 203 also had the highest per-acre bid at the sale. Unocal took five tracks, followed by Aurora Gas and a 50-50 partnership of Wagner and Gilbertson with three tracts each, Phillips Alaska with two tracts and Marathon Oil with one.

Forcenergy accounted for 49 percent of the bid money, $449,440, followed by Unocal with 22 percent ($201,773), Phillips Alaska 11 percent ($98,861), Aurora gas at 8 percent ($76,302), Wagner/Gilbertson at 6 percent ($58,470) and Marathon at 4 percent ($34,906).

Osprey installation should be complete today

Installation of the Osprey platform should be complete today, and Forcenergy Inc. expects installation contractor Stolt Comex Seaway will turn the platform over to them within the week, Jim Arlington, land manager for Forcenergy's Alaska division said Aug. 16.

Once the platform has been turned over, Forcenergy can begin moving equipment on to the platform. Rig mobilization, Arlington said, is expected the first week in September and the company expects to be drilling from the platform the first or second week in October.

Arlington also said that later this month the company will spud an exploration well at its Tomcat prospect on West Forelands, using the Nabors Alaska rig that's been drilling for the company at its West McArthur River unit.

Gov. Knowles invites other governors to address natural gas issue

Gov. Tony Knowles said Aug. 16 that he has invited the nation's governors to a September summit on natural gas to be hosted by Ohio Republican Gov. Bob Taft in Columbus, Ohio. The summit is sponsored by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, of which Knowles is chairman.

"The wholesale price of natural gas has doubled since April, and tripled since last summer, and all signs point to an extremely tight natural gas market this winter," Knowles said in his invitation letter to governors.

Knowles noted projections that heating bills could double this winter as the price of natural gas rises, and credited "lackluster North American production."

Knowles said it is timely to address the natural gas shortage in a comprehensive way at the national level. All governors have been invited he said, along with some top industry officials and experts on the natural gas supply and marketplace.

Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, will be lead presenter at the summit.

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