October 12, 2011 --- Vol. 17, No. 87October 2011

Conoco buys Marathon’s share of LNG plant

ConocoPhillips has purchased Marathon Oil’s 30 percent share in the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant.

ConocoPhillips Alaska spokeswoman Natalie Lowman told Petroleum News this morning that the sale closed Sept. 26; no financial details were released.

Lowman said ConocoPhillips bought Marathon out because “We really believe that the plant has options for the future and we opted to purchase Marathon’s share so that we could maintain those options ourselves.”

ConocoPhillips owned 70 percent, Marathon 30 percent, so ConocoPhillips is now the plant’s only owner.

Lowman said there would be no immediate changes. An LNG cargo is scheduled to leave the plant in October or early November and that cargo will probably be all the plant will export this year.

ConocoPhillips will be looking at preserving the plant’s options for the future “and that could include support for an LNG import and regas facility” or resumption of LNG export options, Lowman said.

—Kristen Nelson

Todd Abbott replaces Ken Sheffield as head of Pioneer in Alaska

Pioneer Natural Resources said this morning that Ken Sheffield, president of the company’s Alaska division, is returning to Dallas to assume leadership of Pioneer’s newly established corporate engineering group.

Todd Abbott will take over the Alaska division. Abbott has been with Pioneer since 2003, most recently as vice president of corporate finance and planning in the company’s Dallas headquarters.

Sheffield has headed the company’s Alaska operation since 2003.

—Kristen Nelson

BRPC pulls Greater Bullen unit application, surrenders half the leases

On Sept. 23, Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. voluntarily withdrew its application with Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas to form the Great Bullen unit on the eastern North Slope.

“We voluntarily surrendered about 100,000 acres, but some of that is to Anadarko Petroleum,” Jim Winegarner told Petroleum News Oct. 12. Winegarner is vice president of land and external affairs for BRPC.

BRPC, a subsidiary of Kansas-based Alaska Venture Capital Group, has been the most active explorer on the North Slope in recent years.

The Greater Bullen unit would have encompassed some 200,058 acres over 68 State of Alaska leases south of the former Point Thomson unit.

In a Sept. 26 acknowledgement to BRPC, Bill Barron, director of the Division of Oil and Gas, said the state “will make every effort” to include the surrendered state acreage in the next North Slope areawide lease sale, scheduled for Dec. 7.

—Kay Cashman

See stories in Oct. 16 issue of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 14 at

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