July 01, 2009 --- Vol. 15, No. 51July 2009

State approves Kitchen Lights unit in Cook Inlet

The state has approved formation of the Kitchen Lights unit in Cook Inlet, combining the Kitchen, Northern Lights and Corsair prospects.

The 83,394-acre unit, approved yesterday, includes 40,733 acres from the Escopeta Oil Co. Kitchen unit, 15,930 acres from the Northern Lights prospect proposed for unitization by Renaissance Alaska LLC in late 2008 and 26,721 acres from Corsair — four tracts formerly in the Pacific Energy Resources Ltd. unit and four additional tracts.

The approval by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas is subject to payment of overdue rent on some of the 30 leases in the new unit, withdrawal of the Northern Lights unit application and dismissal or withdrawal of superior court and administrative appeals related to Corsair and Kitchen.

Escopeta is required to bring a jack-up rig to Cook Inlet and to drill four wells on the acreage — one each beginning in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 — and to meet other timelines in order to retain the unit.

June ANS production down due to summer maintenance

Alaska North Slope oil production was down 17.2 percent from May to June as the trans-Alaska oil pipeline took its first planned summer timeout for maintenance work June 20-21, with ANS production dropping below 300,000 barrels per day over that weekend, averaging 591,666 bpd for June compared to 714,913 bpd in May.

The BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, where Gathering Center 2 went down June 2 for a month-long turnaround, had the steepest month-to-month drop in production, averaging 248,747 barrels per day in June, down 31 percent from a May average of 360,816 bpd.

The BP-operated Lisburne field had a percentage decline of 12 percent, averaging 27,308 bpd in June compared to 31,029 bpd in May.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Alpine field had a 3.5 percent May-to-June production decline, averaging 103,760 bpd in June compared to 107,486 bpd in May.

BP’s Milne Point field averaged 29,555 bpd in June, down 3.2 percent from a May average of 30,517 bpd.

The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk River field averaged 144,674 bpd in June, down 2.4 percent from 148,288 bpd in May.

Two small North Slope fields, Endicott and Northstar, had June-over-May production increases.

See stories in July 5 issue, available online at noon, Friday, June 3, at

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