October 11, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 129October 2001

Gramm ANWR amendment to Aviation Security bill dropped

U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, added an ANWR amendment yesterday to the Aviation Security bill, but the amendment failed a cloture vote today and was dropped. The amendment called for opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development.

Gramm said Democrats had made unrelated amendments to the Aviation Security bill, particularly the Carnahan amendment for relief to laid-off airline workers. The Carnahan amendment was also dropped from the bill.

Gramm said an ANWR provision had been adopted by the House of Representatives, and that his amendment had just as much to do with aviation security as amendments offered by Democrats on the same bill.

The strategy of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman to suspend mark up of national energy legislation has met with substantial criticism in Washington, and it constitutes an admission that Bingaman did not have committee support to kill ANWR development, an Arctic Power spokesman told PNA today.

“It’s a victory without having to vote,” the source said, adding that if rational discussion of energy issues is allowed, it appears the Senate would vote in favor of ANWR development.

Phillips files to drill up to seven exploratory wells south of Kuparuk

Phillips Alaska Inc. has filed applications with state agencies to drill up to seven new exploratory wells on state lands near the southern boundary of the Kuparuk River unit “during or beyond” the 2001-2006 winter drilling seasons, the Alaska Division of Governmental Coordination said Oct. 11.

The Kuparuk exploration project drill sites are Andros No. 1, Antigua No. 1, Cayman No. 1 and Cirque No. 3 and 4. They are in Townships 9N and 10N, Ranges 7E-10E, Umiat Meridian.

The project would involve approximately 16 miles of ice roads, 6 inches thick, and up to two 500-by-500 foot ice drill pads per site using approximately 36,593,000 gallons of water from existing permitted sources in the Kuparuk unit. Phillips is applying for authorization to gain early access to the tundra for ice road and pad construction, which could result in road and pad construction beginning as early as Dec. 1 this year.

The company proposes to drill up to three penetrations — one well and up to two sidetracks — per pad, except at the Cirque sites, where it would drill up to two wells and two sidetracks per pad.

Nicolai Creek field production update

Aurora Gas LLC said Oct. 8 that gas sales have begun from its Nicolai Creek unit on the west side of Cook Inlet.

The company revised production figures Oct. 9.

Initially Aurora said that production from the No. 3 Nicolai Creek Unit was exceeding 2 million cubic feet per day — after a meter verification it turns out that production is exceeding 3 million cubic feet per day and is increasing as the well continues to unload fluids used during workover operations.

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