July 26, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 77July 2002

State to consider use of gravel in exploration in southern area of North Slope

The director of the Division of Oil and Gas after consultation with the Department of Fish and Game may allow the use of gravel for exploration projects in the Foothills.

DNR Commissioner Pat Pourchot said in a July 24 decision that this same change would be made in mitigation measures for the southern portion of the North Slope areawide lease sale, and has supplemented the 1998 best interest finding for North Slope areawide oil and gas lease sales.

In mitigation measures for the 2002 Foothills oil and gas lease sale DNR allowed gravel to be used for exploration in the Foothills and, at the request of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., is allowing the same change in mitigation measures for the southern area of the North Slope areawide lease area.

Pourchot said in the decision that "gravel roads and pads may be allowed for exploration in the southern portion of the sale area, in certain limited and site-specific circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, when no feasible and prudent alternatives exist."

Bids will be opened beginning at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 23 for the North Slope and Beaufort Sea areawide oil and gas lease sales at the Wilda Marston Theater in Anchorage.

Talisman makes major natural gas strike in British Columbia

Talisman Energy Inc. has given northeastern British Columbia a needed infusion of hope by announcing a major natural gas find that could yield 1 trillion cubic feet of reserves.

The discovery, revealed July 25, comes as the Ladyfern area, which accounted for all of Canada's increased gas output in 2001, is now into rapid decline.

Talisman is operator with a 40 percent stake. Its partners are Anadarko Petroleum Corp. 30 percent, National Fuel Exploration Corp. 20 percent and Oiltec Resources Ltd. 10 percent.

The find is in the Monkman area near Fort St. John, but the geology is entirely different from Ladyfern.

A spokesman for Talisman said Monkman is a "sequence of little fields," while Ladyfern is "one big field."

"This opens up a major potential new play system which will be easy to tie in since it is under our existing infrastructure," said Talisman president and chief executive officer Jim Buckee.

Talisman, which has produced more than 1 trillion cubic feet from the Monkman area since the 1980s, said its first deep well has tested at volumes ranging from 15 million to 37 million cubic feet per day. Initial volumes from some Ladyfern wells were a prolific 100 million cubic feet per day.

The Talisman spokesman cautioned that a number of wells, costing from C$12 million to C$16 million each, will have to be drilled across a number of locations to establish the reserve predictions.

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