September 07, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 58September 2006

Anadarko approves Nikaitchuq pilot program

Any concerns state officials have had about the acquisition of Kerr-McGee by Anadarko Petroleum slowing down plans for development of the North Slope Nikaitchuq prospect should be alleviated by Anadarko’s decision to proceed with a planned pilot program this winter.

“We’re moving forward with the winter drilling program as originally planned by Kerr-McGee,” Anadarko’s Alaska spokesman Mark Hanley told Petroleum News Sept. 7.

The news came on the heels of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources commissioner denying a royalty modification request from Kerr-McGee for 14 state leases in the proposed Nikaitchuq oil development area (see Aug. 31 news bulletin).

“The original plan was to go forward with a pilot program regardless of royalty relief,” Hanley said, noting that in evaluating Nikaitchuq for development, Anadarko will take into account everything from the results of this winter’s drilling, to royalties, to the impact the state’s new production tax will have on project economics.

The pilot program consists of two wells, which will be drilled using Nabors Rig 245.

Brooks Range and partners may drill third North Slope well

TG World Energy, a joint venture partner with Brooks Range Petroleum and Ramshorn Investments in Brooks Range-operated leases on Alaska’s North Slope, has said that the JV hopes to drill a third exploration well in the 2006/07 winter drilling season. Brooks Range has previously said that the joint venture plans to drill two wells in the winter season in the Gwydyr Bay area, north of the Prudhoe Bay unit.

The statement about the additional well came as part of a TG World announcement about its approval of the budget and exploration plan for 2006/07 North Slope exploration.

“The current budget also allows for the drilling of a third well during the 2006/07 winter drilling season,” TG World said. “Management of TG World is confident that technical work currently under way will lead to the identification of a third well location for addition to the 2006/07 drilling program.”

Brooks Range has contracted with Nabors Drilling to use rig 16E for the 2006/2007 drilling — Nabors is currently readying the rig for the drilling season. The joint venture has also contracted with Baker Energy, a unit of engineering and energy management company Michael Baker, for support services during exploration and, in the event of a petroleum find, for field development.

Editor’s note: Watch for full stories in the Sept. 10 issue of Petroleum News, which will be available online at on Sept. 7.

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