June 03, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 56June 2003

Lease added to Oooguruk unit application

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas said May 28 that Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska has amended its application for the Oooguruk unit at its Northwest Kuparuk prospect in Harrison Bay off Alaska's North Slope to include an additional lease, ADL 388576. That lease, formerly held by Winstar Petroleum, was assigned to Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska (70 percent) and Armstrong Alaska (30 percent) effective May 1. Winstar retained an overriding royalty interest.

ADL 388576 is on the northern edge of the proposed unit, just north of a lease not part of the proposed unit held by Anadarko Petroleum on which ExxonMobil drilled the 1 Thetis Island well. That lease, ADL 379301, was acquired in a 1983 state lease sale. The 1 Thetis Island well was certified by the state as capable of producing in paying quantities, holding the lease beyond its expiration date of 1993.

As originally proposed, the Oooguruk unit included 11 state oil and gas leases covering some 18,500 acres. With the addition of the 12th lease the proposed unit area now covers approximately 20,394 acres.

Armstrong, an affiliate of Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, assembled most of the acreage in the unit and the partners drilled three wells last winter, the 1 Ivik, the 1 Oooguruk and the 1 Natchiq. Those wells complete the proposed work commitment for the five-year unit plan.

Two Phillips Alpine Alaska leases in the original unit application, ADL 388569 and ADL 388570, were assigned to Pioneer (70 percent) and Armstrong (30 percent) effective March 1. Phillips retained an overriding royalty.

ANS production tops 1 million barrels again in May

After dropping below the 1 million barrel-per-day mark in April, Alaska North Slope crude oil production averaged 1,006,545 barrels per day in May, up 1.8 percent from April production averaging 988,945 bpd.

Impacts on May North Slope production included downtime at Northstar, where valves were replaced in the gas-injection header May 6, and a system default led to a plant shutdown May 7. The Alaska Department of Revenue also reported that planned compressor work May 9-22 on the east side of Prudhoe Bay decreased total production from that field by about 40,000 bpd.

Prudhoe Bay production averaged 464,332 bpd in May, down 6.2 percent from the April average of 494,795 bpd, a 30,463 bpd difference.

Endicott production averaged 32,489 bpd, down 2.4 percent from an April average of 33,282 bpd.

All other North Slope fields had increased production, May over April, led by Northstar which averaged 66,559 bpd, up 47.4 percent over an April average of 45,156 bpd.

Lisburne production averaged 65,973 bpd in May, up 43.3 percent from an April average of 46,042 bpd.

Kuparuk River field production averaged 219,963 bpd in May, up 3.2 percent from the April average of 213,175 bpd.

Milne Point production averaged 52,884 bpd in May, up 0.8 percent from April's average of 52,448 bpd.

Alpine averaged 104,345 bpd in May, up 0.3 percent from an April average of 104,047 bpd.

Cook Inlet production averaged 28,851 bpd in April, down 1.4 percent from a May average of 29,255 bpd.

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