February 17, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 11February 2006

Rutter and Wilbanks buys Prodigy's Cook Inlet prospect

Midland, Texas-based independent oil and gas company Rutter and Wilbanks Corp. has closed the purchase of the offshore Northern Lights prospect in Southcentral Alaska’s upper Cook Inlet basin from Irving, Texas-based independent Prodigy Alaska, Bill Rutter III told Petroleum News today.

Rutter said his company has partners in the deal, and it may add several more before drilling commences.

The 36,000-acre Northern Lights prospect will bring Rutter and Wilbanks’ total acreage in the inlet to 96,000 acres, he said. The new leases are offshore on the North Cook Inlet anticline.

In 2004, Prodigy President Paul Fenemore told Petroleum News that the company’s Northern Lights project has “estimated gross recoverable oil reserves and resource potential in the range of 111-358 million barrels of oil equivalent.” All of the leases are located in water depths of 100 feet or less and are close to pipelines and oil and gas infrastructure, Fenemore said.

Rutter said he and his partners are working to bring a jack-up rig to Cook Inlet to drill the prospect in 2007. “It’s possible to get a jack-up rig in this year, but I’m not betting on it,” he said.

Rutter said his company isn’t qualified to operate offshore, but one of his partners would consider being the operator at Northern Lights.

Note: See full story in Feb. 19 edition of Petroleum News.

Corps issues permit for Kerr-McGee's Nikaitchuq project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued the permit for development of Kerr-McGee’s Nikaitchuq oil and gas project offshore Alaska’s North Slope in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea.

The permit, POA-2005,1243, is for five years, involves three islands and a pad at Oliktok Point, and authorizes the big Oklahoma independent to place up to 952,000 cubic yards of gravel, 319,000 cubic yards seafloor sediments and 1,417, 600 cubic yards of overburden into 183.3 acres of U.S. waters to bury pipelines and construct the Nikaitchuq project.

If approved by Kerr-McGee, the Nikaitchuq facilities will be built in phases, starting with the Oliktok pad.

At its peak the project is expected to produce 60,000 barrels of oil per day, including small amounts of natural gas, and to produce through 2026.

Nikaitchuq will have the first independent-operated production facilities on the North Slope, with only the initial production from Oliktok Point expected to flow through nearby ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk oil field facilities.

Eni Petroleum is a partner in Nikaitchuq with Kerr-McGee.

Note: Watch for full story in the Feb. 26 edition of Petroleum News.

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