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December 15, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 117December 2003

Unocal buys out Alliance at proposed Nikolaevsk exploration unit

Unocal has acquired 100 percent working interest ownership in the proposed Nikolaevsk exploration unit on the Kenai Peninsula north of the existing North Fork unit.

Alliance Energy of Tulsa, Okla., applied to form the Nikolaevsk exploration unit this fall, for an area of approximately 17,327 acres in 10 oil and gas leases, eight state of Alaska leases, one a Cook Inlet Region Inc. lease and one a federal lease. (See story in Nov. 9 issue of Petroleum News.)

Working interest owners in the original unit proposal included: Alliance, CPB Alaska Oil & Gas of Tampa, Fla.; Chevron U.S.A.; ConocoPhillips Alaska; James W. White of San Antonio, Texas; Marathon Oil; Cook Inlet Region Inc.; Unocal; and Gas-Pro of Alaska.

Unocal told the state in early December that it has acquired 100 percent working interest ownership and will take over control and operatorship of the proposed unit. Unocalís proposal is for 16,588.63 acres, eight state leases and two CIRI leases.

Alliance proposed to begin exploration with seismic.

Unocal proposes to begin with a well in the first year of the exploration plan, beginning Jan.31, 2004. Unocal told the state that the first well would be drilled on block 1, the southwestern corner of the proposed unit, to a depth of at least 10,500 feet true vertical depth or a depth sufficient to penetrate 200 feet of the Hemlock formation. Unocal said its plan is to log the well through the Hemlock formation.

The three-year initial exploration plan includes the block 1 well in the first year, seismic over blocks 2 and 3 in the second year and a second exploration well in the third year.

There are penalty payments to the state if work is not done as proposed, and there is also a penalty if Unocal decides to walk away from the prospect.

Editorís note: See full story in Dec. 21 issue of Petroleum News.

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