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January 19, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 8January 2001

Canadian Arctic exploratory well delayed by warm weather

Balmy weather has delayed the drilling of the Canadian Arctic's most anticipated exploratory well the first in more than a decade by about two weeks.

Petro-Canada, as 60 percent operator, and Anderson Exploration said the Kurk L-15 well, scheduled for spudding on Feb. 1, has been postponed to mid-February.

With temperatures at the Mackenzie Delta rising close to freezing, the companies are unable to haul equipment on ice roads, said J.C. Anderson, chairman and chief executive of Anderson Exploration.

Much is riding on the wildcat. A successful discovery would reinforce hopes that the Delta has enough reserves to support a pipeline to southern Canadian and U.S. markets. Current reserves are estimated at 9 trillion cubic feet.

Kurk L-15 is targeted for a depth of 2,800 meters at a cost of C$44.3 million. It will be drilled onshore about 100 miles northwest of Inuvik on property Petro-Canada and Anderson acquired in 1999 for C$105 million.

First Osprey well near total depth

The first exploration well from Forest Oil Corp.'s new Osprey platform in Cook Inlet is approaching total depth, with testing expected over the next couple of weeks, Gary Carlson, Forest senior vice president in charge of Alaska operations, told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance Jan. 19.

Pending success at the Redoubt Shoal prospect, where the Osprey platform was installed last summer, production facilities would be built onshore, Carlson said. Permitting is under way, and if the well is successful and permits are received, pipeline construction would begin in September or October, with onshore construction beginning about the same time. The Redoubt Shoal field would go into production in early 2002.

Recent activity in the industry is causing delays in receiving equipment, Carlson said. If permitting or equipment difficulties cause the construction schedule to slip, it could be May 2002 before work begins, he said.

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