December 02, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 113December 2003

Aurora Gas working on plan for new unit on west side of Cook Inlet

Aurora Gas LLC is working on plans with Forest Oil Corp. for a new exploration unit, the Three Mile Creek exploration unit, on the west side of Cook Inlet. The proposed unit would include Aurora and Forest Oil leases east and northeast of Auroraís Moquawkie unit. The 9,200 acres is a combination of state of Alaska, Mental Health Trust and Cook Inlet Region Inc. leases.

The companies are proposing an exploration well in 2004-05 to test the Middle Beluga sandstone or the acquisition of 2-D seismic to better delineate the trend.

If the initial test well is not drilled in 2004-05, it would be drilled in 2005-06. A second exploration well would be drilled in 2006-07 or additional 2-D seismic would be acquired.

Forest told the state that seismic data currently available is of relatively poor quality, and does not provide a good basis for a firm commitment to an exploration drilling program.

November ANS production down slightly from October

Alaska North Slope crude oil production averaged 985,485 barrels per day in November, down just 0.15 percent from Octoberís average of 986,961 bpd. The Alaska Department of Revenue said major interruptions to production were from a minor automation shutdown at Alpine Nov. 14, and from a transformer failure at Northstar Nov. 27.

Production at the Alpine field dropped from 104,136 bpd Nov. 13 to 69,532 bpd Nov. 14, but was back to 104,517 bpd Nov. 16. Alpine production averaged 102,999 bpd in November, up 19.3 percent from an October average of 86,359.

Northstar went from 75,843 bpd Nov. 26 to 25,290 bpd Nov. 27, and dropped to zero Nov. 28. Nov. 29 production from Northstar was 4,610 bpd, Nov. 30 was 5,128 bpd. Revenue said Northstar field operator BP Exploration (Alaska) has ordered a replacement and expects full production at the field Dec. 5. Northstar production averaged 63,529 bpd in November, down 15.25 percent from and October average of 74,959 bpd.

Production from Prudhoe Bay averaged 475,845 bpd in November, up 1 percent from an October average of 470,962 bpd. The only other North Slope field with an October to November production increase was Lisburne, up 0.95 percent at 60,385 bpd, compared to 59,817 bpd in October.

The Kuparuk River field averaged 200,382 bpd, down 4.55 percent from an October average of 209,924 bpd. Production from Milne Point averaged 53,215 bpd, down 4.43 percent from an October average of 55,680 bpd. Endicott averaged 29,130 bpd, down 0.44 percent from an October average of 29,260 bpd.

The North Slope temperature at Pump Station No. 1 averaged 3.9 degrees Fahrenheit in November compared to a three-year November average of 11 degrees F; the October temperature averaged 27.1 degrees F.

Production from Cook Inlet averaged 28,478 bpd, down 1.66 percent from an October average of 28,959 bpd.

Editorís note: See full stories in Dec. 7 issue of Petroleum News.

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