April 27, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 49April 2001

CIDS might be leaving Alaska

Rumors that Global Marine Drilling Co.’s bottom-founded Glomar Beaufort Sea I, a concrete island drilling system, has been sold to ExxonMobil and is being moved from its present location near Northstar to offshore Sakhalin have been only partly confirmed by Global.

“We have entered into an agreement to sell the CIDS,” Global spokesman Mike Dawson told PNA April 27. “The buyer doesn’t want its name disclosed.”

He did confirm that the sale is “contingent upon the buyer’s ability to import the rig into another country.”

Dawson said Global expects to close the transaction in June.

The most recent use of the CIDS was by ARCO Alaska Inc., which drilled Warthog 1 in Camden Bay six miles offshore the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On Jan. 7, 1998, ARCO declared Warthog a dry hole.

CIDS has most recently been stacked offshore BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.’s Northstar project. ARCO’s 1997 exploration plan for Camden Bay described the CIDS as designed “specifically for year-round exploratory drilling in harsh offshore Arctic environments in water depths ranging from 35 to 55 feet.”

BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell told PNA April 26 that CIDS is not an official back-up for Northstar.

Labor leaders appeal to Congress for ANWR development

An April 23 letter to members of Congress from 12 national labor union leaders urges support for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, Maritime Trades Department President Michael Sacco and Building Construction Trades Department President Edward Sullivan were among those signing the letter.

The appeal, made on behalf of 10 million workers, said that U.S. workers would use U.S. products to develop and ship ANWR oil and would use technology to protect the environment.

“Not only is today's technology more environmentally sound, but labor has for decades worked with employers in the oil and gas industry to promote safety, efficiency, and ecologically safe operations,” the letter said.

The ANWR development cause was boosted in the mid-1990s when James P. Hoffa became Teamster general president, according to Jerry Hood, Teamsters Local 959 secretary/treasurer. Hoffa’s support on ANWR led to the March 28 creation of Job Power, an alliance of labor groups in favor of ANWR development, Hood told PNA.

Hood is spearheading Teamster efforts to educate Congress on the advantages of drilling in the refuge.

Union education efforts and a projected 735,000 ANWR jobs have solidified support for drilling at the rank-and-file level, Hood said. The 1.5 million-member Teamsters union forecasts 25,000 ANWR jobs for its members in all 50 states, he said. Hood said the Teamsters union is conducting its own education by educating state delegations on ANWR and its impact on jobs and spending in their state.

Taylor named chairman of AOGCC

Gov. Tony Knowles has named Commissioner Cammy Oechsli Taylor to chair the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Bob King, the governor's press secretary, told PNA April 27 that the appointment took effect April 13.

Taylor, who was appointed to the commission by Knowles in September 1997, holds the public member seat on the three-member commission. She is a former assistant attorney general.

Commission terms are for six years. The governor designates one member of the commission for a four-year term as chair of the commission; members may not serve successive terms as chair of the commission.

The commission has been without a chair since the resignation of Bob Christenson last June.

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