October 30, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 114October 2002

Two Cook Inlet platforms, Baker and Dillon, to be shut in

Unocal Alaska Resources will be shutting in the Dillon and Baker platforms in Cook Inlet, company spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz told PNA Oct. 29. Baker began production in 1965, Dillon in 1966.

The platforms have been under production for more than 35 years, Sinz said.

"It has been determined that they have reached their economic limit, and because they are no longer profitable we will shut them in," she said.

Unocal expects to shut in Dillon near the end of this year, and Baker by the end of the first quarter of next year. Sinz said the company is working with the state to address all issues concerning the shut ins.

Both platforms are in the Middle Ground Shoal field and were originally operated by Amoco. There are four platforms in the Middle Ground Shoal field: XTO Energy operates platforms A and C.

Permitting time clock restarted on Katalla project

The state has restarted the permitting time clock for the Katalla oil and gas exploration project in the east Copper River Delta region 56 miles southeast of Cordova.

Nina Brudie, project review coordinator for the state Division of Governmental Coordination, notified Cassandra Energy Corp. President Bill Stevens by letter that the review had been restarted on Oct. 28.

The permitting time-clock was stopped July 8 after a request for additional information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. On July 17, DGC documents said, the applicant provided the information, but DGC continued the review suspension because of “unusually complex issues” around, among other things, spill plan issues with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, a DGC official told PNA in early October.

“ADF&G and ADEC have received the additional information you submitted and consider it adequate,” Brudie wrote in the Oct. 28 letter to Stevens. She said the revised review milestones are: comments due to DGC: Nov. 6; proposed determination: Nov. 18, 2002 (on or before); final determination: Nov. 25, 2002 (on or before).

Cassandra hopes to drill two or three exploratory wells near the former town of Katalla, the site of Alaska's first commercial oil production. When that drilling will occur is dependent on the final issuance of permits and approval of a revised environmental assessment from the U.S. Forest Service.

Commission approves regulatory cost charges for fiscal year 2003

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved regulatory cost charges for fiscal year 2003 at an Oct. 30 public hearing.

The charges are based on oil and gas production and are assessed against field operators: Aurora Gas LLC $79.23; BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. $3,240,263.92; ExxonMobil Production Co. $11.06; Forest Oil Corp. $3,971.36; Marathon Oil Co. $9,749.30; North Slope Borough $420.83; Phillips Alaska Inc. $781,461.80; Phillips Petroleum Co. $15,838.61; Union Oil Co. of California $135,749.19; XTO Energy Inc. $7,453.70.

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