NEWS BULLETIN

September 21, 2015 --- Vol. 21, No. 40September 2015

Feds starting review of Liberty plan

Hilcorp Alaska LLC has officially submitted its development plan for Liberty.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Sept. 18 that the independent oil company had submitted a completed plan to develop the offshore oil field in the federal waters of the Beaufort Sea, distinction formally starting a 60-day review period.

The proposed plan outlines proposed well and infrastructure placement, drilling methods, a projected timeline for activities and impacts on both onshore and offshore resources.

"BOEM will conduct a rigorous evaluation of this DPP, recognizing the significant environmental, social and ecological resources in the region and honoring our responsibility to protect this critical ecosystem, our Arctic communities, and the subsistence needs and cultural traditions of Alaska Natives," BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement. "Any activity proposed offshore Alaska is scrutinized using the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards."

Hilcorp is planning to develop the Liberty prospect from a gravel island, similar to the ones currently being used at the Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq units in state waters.

The federal agency intends to issue a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on Sept. 25, which will collect information for determining whether or not to approve the plan. The agency expects the EIS to take "several years."

The agency is taking comments on the proposed plan through Nov. 17.

- ERIC LIDJI

Icewine exploration well wins operations plan approval

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, has approved an amended and modified lease plan of operations by Accumulate Energy Alaska for the Icewine No. 1 exploration well.

The well will be drilled from the Franklin Bluffs gravel pad adjacent to the Dalton Highway some 30 miles south of Deadhorse.

The well will be drilled on a tract acquired by Burgundy Xploration, with joint venture partner Accumulate Energy Alaska as operator.

Accumulate said in its application that it would use Nabors rig 105AC or a rig with similar specifications, but said earlier in September that it had executed a rig contract with Kuukpik Drilling for the well.

Accumulate Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian-based 88 Energy, which said in a Sept. 17 statement that two key permits remain to be closed out for the project, an oil discharge prevention and contingency plan and a permit to drill.

Accumulate said in its application that drilling would be from mid-October through mid-December, with demobilization by the end of the year.

- KRISTEN NELSON

See stories in Sept. 27 issue, available online Friday, Sept. 25 at www.PetroleumNews.com


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