November 25, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 125November 2002

BP says Liberty not included in its lease offering

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spokesman Paul Laird told PNA this afternoon that its Beaufort Sea Liberty prospect will not be on the list of North Slope oil and gas properties BP is looking at divesting.

As per an earlier PNA news bulletin, BP is preparing an offering of most of its non-unitized leases on the slope, excluding acreage in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Brooks Range Foothills. This afternoon Laird added BPs offshore Liberty prospect to that list a list, he pointed out, that is not yet final.

We're exploring development options for Liberty right now, so it is being excluded from acreage that were looking at giving other companies the opportunity to acquire and explore, Laird said.

ConocoPhillips looking at second quarter sidetrack at Cosmopolitan

ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. spokeswoman Natalie Knox told PNA this morning that the company has not released any information on the Hansen No. 1 well at its Cosmopolitan unit north of Anchor Point.

The Hansen No. 1 was spud late last year from an onshore location to a bottomhole targeting the Hemlock formation in the offshore unit and has been suspended since early this year.

A Nov. 14 letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service to ConocoPhillips says the company requested a suspension of operation for the two federal leases in the unit on Nov. 5 and subsequently told MMS that a sidetrack to the Hansen No. 1 well could start sometime in the second quarter of 2003. MMS said that ConocoPhillips committed to drilling a sidetrack to the Hansen No. 1 well as part of the first plan of exploration for the unit. The company had the option in the unit plan of acquiring three-dimensional seismic or drilling a second well in the unit.

The Cosmopolitan unit covers some 24,600 acres in two federal leases and seven state leases at the Starichkof field offshore the Kenai Peninsula. ConocoPhillips has a majority working interest and is the field operator. Forest Oil Corp. and Devon Energy Production Co. L.P. also hold working interests in the unit.

State pipeline renewals to be signed tomorrow; BLM set to release FEIS

The Joint Pipeline Office said this afternoon that Gov. Tony Knowles and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot will sign the trans-Alaska pipeline right of way lease renewal tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Renewals will also be signed for the Endicott, Kuparuk, Kuparuk extension, Milne Point, and Oliktok North Slope pipelines.

The right of way lease for the Kenai Kachemak pipeline will be signed at the museum at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. Both events are open to the public.

The JPO also said that the Bureau of Land Management will release the final environmental impact statement for federal lease renewal for the trans-Alaska pipeline Nov. 29.

JPO said the Department of Interior must wait at least 30 days after the release before it can issue a record of decision regarding the federal grant for trans-Alaska pipeline right of way.

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