July 01, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 67July 2003

June ANS production up slightly from May

Alaska North Slope crude oil production for June averaged 1,009,054 barrels per day, topping May's average of 1,006,545 bpd by just 0.25 percent, driven by a 7 percent increase in Northstar production and a 1.45 percent increase for Prudhoe Bay; other June numbers were down from May.

Northstar production averaged 71,252 bpd, up 4,693 bpd from the May average of 66,559 bpd. Prudhoe Bay production was up 6,725 bpd, averaging 471,057 bpd in June compared to 464,332 bpd in May.

Production from Milne Point averaged 51,235 bpd in June, down 3.12 percent from a May average of 52,884. Alpine production averaged 101,532 bpd, down 2.7 percent from a May average of 104,345. The Kuparuk River field averaged 215,695 bpd in June, down 1.94 percent from a May average of 219,963.

Endicott and Lisburne had marginal declines. Endicott averaged 32,407 bpd in June, down 0.25 percent from a May average of 32,489, while Lisburne averaged 65,876 bpd in June, down 0.15 percent from a May average of 65,973.

Cook Inlet production averaged 29,478 bpd in June, up 2.17 percent from a May average of 28,851.

Commission issues orders for Prudhoe wells; schedules hearing for other fields

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has issued rules regulating sustained annulus pressures in Prudhoe Bay development wells. The commission has also set a public hearing for Aug. 5 on proposed rules governing annular pressures in development wells in the Kuparuk River field, the Colville River field (Alpine) and the Milne Point field. BP Exploration (Alaska) operates the Prudhoe Bay and Milne Point fields. ConocoPhillips Alaska operates the Colville River and Kuparuk River fields.

In its June 26 order establishing rules for regulating sustained annulus pressures in Prudhoe Bay wells the commission said BP's recently revised Prudhoe Bay annular pressure management policies "provide a reasonable starting point for establishing rules regulating annular pressure." But, the commission said, those policies should be supplemented by a rule requiring BP to notify the commission when "wells exhibit annular pressures that exceed specific thresholds," submission by the operator of proposed corrective actions for affected wells, specific annular pressure limits necessitating corrective action and "operator accounting for annular pressure increases due to well heating during start-up."

The commission's proposed rules for Kuparuk, Colville and Milne Point wells are similar to the just adopted Prudhoe rules. The commission said its consolidated public hearing is tentative, and if it receives no written requests for a heading by July 31, it may decide to issue orders without a hearing.

Editor's note: See complete stories in July 6 issue of Petroleum News.

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