June 30, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 35June 2006

MMS issues Shell’s Beaufort seismic permit

As per an article in the July 2 edition of Petroleum News (available online today around noon Alaska-time), the U.S. Minerals Management Service recently issued three seismic survey permits for the Chukchi Sea to Shell Offshore, ConocoPhillips Alaska and GX Technology. The article said a permit for Shell to shoot seismic in the Beaufort Sea would be issued in the next couple of weeks per an interview with a Washington, D.C. MMS official on the morning of June 29.

That permit was actually issued the afternoon of June 29 according to John Goll, head of the Alaska office.

Work in the Beaufort will start this summer and be completed by Nov. 15, MMS said.

A copy of the approval letter can be found at

State approves Arctic Fortitude unit

On June 29 the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas approved Alaskan Crude Corp.’s application for the 6,363-acre Arctic Fortitude unit in the central North Slope. The unit sits on the south side of the Prudhoe Bay unit, immediately east of NE Storms, and one and a half miles southeast of the Deadhorse airport.

Arctic Fortitude lies within three State of Alaska oil and gas leases (ADL 389178, ADL 38179 and ADL 389177) due to expire July 1. Unitizing the leases extends their expiration date as long as security and work commitments are met.

The initial plan of exploration for the unit runs from today to June 30, 2010, and has three stages of security and work provisions that call for the workover and testing of the Burglin No. 33-1 well by Oct. 1, 2007; drilling two new wells on each of the other leases by Nov. 1, 2009 and Nov. 1, 2010 respectively; and shooting 3-D seismic over the entire unit by Nov. 1, 2009.

The working interest owners of the three leases are James W. White and James A. White with Alaskan Crude listed as operator.

Alaskan Crude is a small, independent oil company headed by its president, James “Jim” W. White of San Antonio, Texas.

Bruce Webb, Alaskan Crude’s vice president of regulatory affairs, said in the 1980s the company, under a different ownership structure, constructed three well pads on the leases. In 1984/1985 it drilled the Burglin No. 33-1 well to 9,458 feet in the Ivishak formation, the main reservoir formation in nearby Prudhoe Bay.

Burglin No. 33-1 was suspended.

Alaskan Crude ran into difficulties in the early 1990s and did not drill from the other two pads. Jim White bought the bankrupt company and repurchased the leases in a state lease sale.

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