Late yesterday Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas issued an automatic termination notice for the North Slope Placer unit that was based on the Placer Unit Agreement with the state.
Placer is operated and 100% owned by ASRC Exploration, a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.
Initially, AEX was looking at bringing Placer online in 2019 or 2020. In its latest filings with the division it changed the startup date to 2022, at the earliest. It also put the unit on the market for an outright sale in May but has since indicated it would also consider taking on a partner.
The division's termination letter, penned by acting Director James Beckham, listed a previous discretionary extension granted for the unit and noted that AEX had confirmed in its filings that the company "is not conducting unit operations and has not since 2016."
In the July 2 letter and in previous communications the director said the division has pointed out that AEX's plans for "office-based studies, analyses, or commercial negotiations" did not qualify as unit operations. He said the plan of operations regulation 11 AAC 83.346 defines operations as field-based work.
According to the firm conducting the sale of the 8,768-acre unit, Placer's stacked plays include the Kuparuk C reservoir and possibly the Nanushuk and Alpine intervals.
Detring Energy Advisors of Houston's sales advertisements said Placer could contain110 million barrels of original oil in place, with between 35 million and 45 million barrels of recoverable oil across all horizons, noting Placer was in a good neighborhood with the ConocoPhillips' Kuparuk River oil field on the east and bordering the Oil Search Pikka unit on the west.
- KAY CASHMAN
See story in July 14 issue of Petroleum News, available at www.PetroleumNews,.com Friday, July 12.
For information on PN's news bulletin service, call 907-522-9469. PO Box 231651, Anchorage, AK 99523 - 1651