April 02, 2010 --- Vol. 16, No. 25April 2010

NEB told Canadian Beaufort Sea blowout rules outdated

The combined weight of Imperial Oil, BP and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is being applied to seek changes to relief well policies for the Canadian Beaufort as the industry starts to eye prospects more distant from the shoreline.

In submissions to Canada’s National Energy Board, the three parties want an end to a 34-year-old policy requiring operators to, if necessary, be able to drill a relief well, kill an original well and safely suspend both wells during a single Arctic drilling season.

The review process was started last fall after the NEB turned down a request from joint partners Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada for an advance ruling on the adequacy of well control provisions for a proposed deepwater exploration well about 75 miles north of the outermost edge of the Mackenzie Delta.

The well was planned for an exploration lease which was one of two acquired by the partnership in 2007, carrying work commitments of C$585 million for rights to 508,000 acres on Exploration License 446.

The Imperial-ExxonMobil request was denied pending a generic policy review by the NEB that includes written submissions and a technical conference on June 3 and 4 to discuss the submissions.

ANS crude production nudges up in March

Alaska North Slope crude oil production nudged up in March, averaging 678,810 barrels per day, an increase of 1.29 percent over a February average of 670,144 bpd.

The largest per-barrel increase was at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, up an average of 6,054 bpd to 352,571 bpd, an increase of 1.75 percent over a February average of 346,517 bpd.

The largest month-over-month percent increase was 12.13 percent at the BP-operated Lisburne field, which averaged 33,539 bpd in March, up 3,629 bpd from a February average of 29,910 bpd.

BP’s Milne Point was up 8.47 percent, averaging 28,781 bpd in March compared to 26,534 bpd in February.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Alpine field averaged 90,480 bpd in March, up 1.46 percent from an average of 89,179 bpd in February.

The BP-operated Northstar field averaged 20,298 bpd in March, down 8.53 percent from February production of 22,190 bpd. The BP-operated Endicott field averaged 13,201 bpd in March, down 5.02 percent from a February average of 13,899 bpd. The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk field averaged 139,940 bpd in March, down 1.39 percent from a February average of 141,915 bpd.

BLM posts NPR-A maps for upcoming sale

The Bureau of Land Management in Alaska said today that it has posted online maps detailing proposed oil and gas lease sale tracts in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to be offered at its Aug. 11 lease sale in Anchorage.

The proposed lease maps can be found at BLM Alaska’s home page at under “In the Spotlight.”

Editor’s note: See stories in April 11 issue, available online to subscribers Friday, April 9 at noon at

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