April 24, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 48April 2001

Unocal plans seismic program north of Ninilchik

Unocal Corp.'s Alaska unit said April 23 that it is undertaking a seismic program north of Ninilchik. Fairweather Geophysical, in a joint venture with Kuukpik Corp., will conduct the survey over the next four weeks.

The survey activity will be low impact, Unocal said, and involves sending small amounts of energy into the earth and measuring the reflected vibrations to help identify potential underground hydrocarbon structure. The survey will use a helicopter, several seismic crews and a boat for the offshore portion. The company said special equipment brought in by helicopter eliminates the need to clear trees or drive vehicles.

"Unocal believes there is still significant hydrocarbon potential in the Cook Inlet and on the Kenai Peninsula," said Chuck Pierce, vice president for Unocal Alaska. "We are taking the first steps in expanding our exploration program in the Ninilchik area to add new natural gas resources to ensure that gas supplies are available to meet not only current needs, but future needs as well."

Unocal is the third largest oil and gas lease owner in Alaska and the largest in Cook Inlet. The company operates Cook Inlet production of 288 million cubic feet of natural gas and 23,000 barrels of oil daily.

BP has small oil spill at Endicott

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. had a 630 gallon crude oil spill April 23 at 4:30 a.m. at Endicott. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said BP estimated the crude oil had a water cut of approximately 88 percent.

A needle valve broke off a discharge pipe coming from well 1-01/J19MPI at the main production island at Endicott. Cause is ascribed to metal fatigue.

Approximately 627 gallons of crude oil were removed from inside the well house with a vacuum truck. Three gallons were estimated to have spilled outside the well house onto the gravel pad and contaminated snow and gravel were to be excavated and disposed of by April 24.

The well was shut down upon discovery of the spill, which was estimated to have occurred for approximately 1.5 hours before BP personnel discovered the spill during routine well house inspections.

The valve has been replaced and DEC said it will be discussing a well house monitoring schedule with BP.

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