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NEWS BULLETIN

June 09, 2004 --- Vol. 10, No. 54June 2004

BLM proposes changes to Northeast NPR-A leasing, stipulations

The Bureau of Land Management has a draft amendment out for the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska leasing area and stipulations.

The agency said that while some 600 million barrels of oil are economically recoverable under the existing plan, 2.1 billion barrels would be economically recoverable under Alternative B, the agency’s preferred alternative.

The amendment is available on the agency’s web site at www.ak.blm.gov

Alternative A is the no action alternative. The area offered for leasing would remain the same, approximately 87 percent of the planning area, and operations would be carried out under the 79 stipulations in the 1998 record of decision.

Alternative B, the agency’s preferred alternative, would make 96 percent of the acreage in the planning area available for leasing. The 213,000 acres of sensitive bird habitat north of Teshekpuk Lake protected under alternative B are, BLM Alaska State Director Henri Bisson, the same area protected in the early 1980s under the Reagan administration. The protected area was expanded in the mid-1990s.

In addition, he said, Alternative B would apply site-specific stipulations to protect rivers and deepwater lakes, expanding those protections from the existing stipulations.

Alternative B includes a combination of prescriptive and performance-based stipulations very similar to those for the Northwest planning area.

Alternative C would open all of the planning area to leasing and includes performance-based mitigations similar to those in Alternative B.

Armstrong applies for Tuvaaq exploration unit

Armstrong Oil and Gas has applied to the state of Alaska for a 14,561-acre exploration unit at Tuvaaq — in the acreage between the Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq exploration units where Armstrong and operating partners Pioneer Natural Resources at Oooguruk and Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas at Nikaitchuq have drilled successful exploration wells the last two winters.

Armstrong Alaska, subsidiary of the Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, told the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas that it plans to operate at Tuvaaq, and will drill three exploration wells, the first this winter.

Armstrong assembled some 46,000 acres — in shallow state waters in Harrison Bay arcing north of the Kuparuk River and Milne Point units — and brought in Pioneer and Kerr-McGee as operating partners.

Editor’s note: See stories in the June 13 issue of Petroleum News.

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