The state contractor in charge of forming a consortium to drill a stratigraphic test well offshore the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is e-mailing ballots to oil companies that expressed interest in participating in the project.
“It’s a check-the-box deal. You either check you will participate or you will not participate in the Beaufort Sea strat well,” John Lewis, vice president of operations for ASRC Energy Services E&P Technology, told Petroleum News in a June 23 interview.
Companies wishing to participate also need to indicate where they want the well to be drilled: there is an eastern and a western option.
The results of the ballot “will determine whether DNR goes forward with the project or not,” Lewis said.
Ballots must be returned to Lewis via e-mail by July 2.
In mid-May the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas extended ASRC Energy Services’ contract to plan and promote the project from May 31 to June 30.
Division geologist Jim Cowan said the deadline was extended because an April announcement that ASRC Energy Services E&P Technology “was also awarded a contract to initiate the permitting — and has done so — apparently did, as we hoped, stimulate additional interest” from large oil companies.”
Cowan, who is in charge of the project for the division, said the agency thought those companies “should be allowed a little additional time to evaluate the data in the areas” proposed for the test well, but he cautioned that “time is running short for those wishing to participate as original participants.” He said additional extensions are unlikely if the well is to be drilled this coming winter, as planned.
The permitting process “appears to be proceeding and all required permits will be available for mobilization efforts that could start in late July 2004 if necessary,” he said.
Lewis can be reached at 907 339-6256 or via e-mail at [email protected]
Editor’s note: See complete story in June 27 issue of Petroleum News.