December 09, 2009 --- Vol. 15, No. 94December 2009

President nominates Larry Persily as federal coordinator

The White House said today that President Barack Obama will nominate Larry Persily as federal coordinator for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project.

This is the position previously held by Drue Pearce, the first coordinator, who resigned at the request of the president earlier this year.

In a statement the White House said Persily has worked for more than a decade on oil and gas issues for three Alaska governors and the Alaska State Legislature and “is known statewide for his bipartisan credentials — he has worked for Democrats and Republicans — and his knowledge of Alaska oil and gas matters, particularly the history of the 40-year effort to develop a North Slope natural gas pipeline.”

Persily is an aide to Alaska House Finance Committee Co-Chair Mike Hawker; he previously served as deputy commissioner at the Alaska Department of Revenue; and assisted with oil and gas, Arctic, commerce, transportation and tax issues in the Washington, D.C., office of the governor of Alaska.

See story in Dec. 13 issue, available online at noon, Friday Dec. 11 at

Drilling resumes at Point Thomson

ExxonMobil Production Co. said in a statement today that it has resumed drilling at two wells started earlier in the year at Point Thomson.

Point Thomson is on the eastern edge of state lands on Alaska’s North Slope, adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The company said it is on schedule to reach total depth at the two wells by the end of 2010.

Each of the wells was drilled to approximately 5,000 feet over the summer, as deep as possible during the ice-free season. Drilling into deeper formations is permitted only between Nov. 1 and April 15.

“We are making real progress at Point Thomson, and are on schedule to start production in 2014,” Dale Pittman, Alaska production manager for ExxonMobil, said in the company’s statement.

Point Thomson, a natural gas and condensate field, holds an estimated 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and some 200 million barrels of condensate.

The company said development of the resources “will present significant technical challenges, including drilling and production of a high pressure gas reservoir.”

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