May 06, 2010 --- Vol. 16, No. 34May 2010

Corps to review denial of CD-5 permit

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to review the denial of ConocoPhillips Alaska’s permit for CD-5 Alpine satellite development at the Colville River Unit on Alaska’s North Slope and the state has requested permission to participate in the administrative appeal.

A request for participation by the Alaska Department of Law said federal regulations permit participation by third parties in administrative appeals from a Corps permit denial, specifically adjacent property owners or state agency personnel to clarify elements of the administration record.

Since the state is the landowner of the river bed of the Nigliq Channel, over which ConocoPhillips proposed to build a bridge, and under which the Corps proposed a horizontal directional drilling alternative, the department said the state has a direct interest in the Corps’ decision, as well as an economic interest in CD-5 Alpine satellite development. The department said the state also has a valid interest in the potential impacts of CD-5 development on local subsistence users, fish, wildlife and water quality in Alaska.

The department said the Corps’ record of decision failed to give deference to the state’s interests as a landowner of the affected property, and instead ignored the state’s careful review and approval of ConocoPhillips’ proposed bridge crossing in deciding that HDD provided a less environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

April ANS production down 5% from March

Alaska North Slope crude oil production averaged 644,509 barrels per day in April, down 5.05 percent from a March average of 678,810 bpd.

Production figures, from the Alaska Department of Revenue, show the biggest per-barrel decline at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, which averaged 315,186 bpd in April, down 10.6 percent from a March average of 352,571 bpd, an average drop of 37,385 bpd per day.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., operator of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, said on its website that it was at 100 percent reliability in April, and that there were no prorations during the month which impacted reliability.

While production from Prudhoe began the month at 315,443 bpd and dropped as low as 269,293 bpd on April 5, production was above 340,000 bpd at the end of the month.

The largest percentage drop was at Northstar, where the field was offline April 16-20, with zero production on those days. Production was down 23.4 percent at the BP-operated field, which averaged 15,558 bpd in April, down from 20,298 bpd in March.

BP spokesman Steve Rinehart told Petroleum News in an e-mail that a pipe was being repaired at Northstar and because of the pipe’s location the plant had to be taken offline. After the fix was made the plant was restarted.

Editor’s note: See stories in May 9 issue of Petroleum News, available online to subscribers on Friday, May 7 at

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