NEWS BULLETIN

October 22, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 108October 2002

DGC restarts time clock for Armstrong’s North Slope exploration wells

The state Division of Governmental Coordination told PNA today that the permitting review for Armstrong Resources LLC’s three North Slope exploration wells was restarted, effective Oct. 21.

The comment deadline for the Kuparuk-Thetis Island exploration wells, DGC said, will be Monday, Oct. 28.

The review was suspended in early September when the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation asked Armstrong for additional spill plan information.

NIEDI withdraws LADS funding; Phoenix Alaska Technology shut down

NIEDI, a subsidiary of NI American Corp., discontinued funding of Phoenix Alaska Technology operations Oct. 18, Erik Opstad told PNA today.

Opstad said NIEDI President Masakazu Okamura told the Phoenix Alaska Technology staff in a conference call that funding of operations was being discontinued due to a change in the ability of NIEDI to fund those activities.

He said nearly all management and staff were released and the office effectively closed the afternoon of Oct. 18 and work on the light automated drilling system, the LADS rig, remains suspended. NIEDI plans for the future of the project are unknown, Opstad said.

PNA reported in mid-August that work had stopped on the system because of a dispute between the financier of the project, NIEDI, and rig fabricator Heartland Rig Inc. of Dallas, Texas.

The LADS rig was being built for use by BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. BP spokesman Paul Laird told PNA that BP had not been notified that NIEDI had suspended funding for the rig and was not in a position to comment.

EPA schedules scoping meetings for Point Thomson EIS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the lead agency for the Point Thomson environmental impact statement, has scheduled scoping meetings on the project for late October and early November.

Point Thomson, some 50 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, is a gas cycling project which will develop a high-pressure condensate within the Point Thomson unit, an estimated 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 400 million barrels of recoverable condensate.

The scoping period is Oct. 14 through Nov. 30. Meetings are scheduled: Kaktovik, Oct. 28, 1-3 p.m., City Hall; Barrow, Oct. 29, 3-7 p.m., City Hall; Nuiqsut, Oct. 30, 7-9 p.m., Community Center; Arctic Village, Nov. 4, 1-3 p.m., Council Office; Venetie, Nov. 5, 1-3 p.m., Community Hall; Fairbanks, Nov. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Chena River Convention Center; Anchorage, Nov. 7, 5:30-7 p.m., Loussac Library.

A draft EIS is expected to be available for public review in mid-2003, followed by public meetings on the draft EIS. Public and agency comment on a final EIS is expected in early 2004.

Information is available online at: http://projects.ch2m.com/PtThomsonEIS/


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