June 06, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 32June 2006

Pioneer increases interest in Cosmopolitan

Pioneer Natural Resources has picked up another 40 percent interest in the Cosmopolitan unit in Southcentral Alaska, giving the Dallas-based independent a total working interest of 50 percent. The company has also taken over operatorship of the offshore Cook Inlet basin unit from ConocoPhillips Alaska.

Prior to Pioneer’s involvement in the field three wells and a sidetrack were drilled in the Cosmopolitan field, establishing what Pioneer described in a press release today as “a significant oil column.”

Pioneer and its co-owners Devon Energy and ConocoPhillips acquired and interpreted a new 3-D seismic survey over the unit and are “evaluating options for further appraisal work to refine the estimate of recoverable reserves,” Pioneer said.

The 25,000-acre unit is approximately 120 miles southwest of Anchorage and approximately two miles from the shoreline of the Kenai Peninsula.

Chevron to begin North Slope exploration in 2008

John Zager, Chevron’s general manager in Alaska, told attendees of a June 5 Alaska Oil and Gas Association meeting in Anchorage that his company expects to begin exploration of its North Slope White Hills acreage in 2008.

The White Hills area is 12-35 miles west of the Sagavanirktok River and 45 miles southwest of Prudhoe Bay.

The company acquired its initial 11 White Hills tracts in its acquisition of Unocal, and additional tracts in the March 1 State of Alaska North Slope areawide lease sale.

The expanded area covers some 50 miles north to south, beginning south of producing fields in the central North Slope and stretching as far as the southern border of Brooks Range’s Whiskey Gulch unit south of Kuparuk.

Kerr-McGee ‘deep’ in North Slope JV discussions

Kerr-McGee’s director of international relations said June 5 that the company is “deep into” discussions for a North Slope exploration joint venture.

Keith Jantz, speaking at the annual Alaska Oil and Gas Association luncheon in Anchorage, said the joint venture would lead to new seismic programs and exploration drilling.

He said he would be happy to talk about the deal when it is complete.

Note: Watch for full stories on these news items in the June 11 edition of Petroleum News, which will be available online at on Friday, June 9.

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