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NEWS BULLETIN

July 09, 2010 --- Vol. 16, No. 56July 2010

Chevron restarts its Anna platform in Cook Inlet

Chevron has repaired a corroded pipeline riser and placed its Anna platform in Alaska’s Cook Inlet back on production.

“We started shipping oil from the Anna on June 12,” company spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz told Petroleum News today via e-mail.

The Anna platform, southwest of the village of Tyonek, has averaged 1,030 barrels per day since the restart, Sinz said.

Shipping resumed after a “composite pipeline repair of the riser” was installed and the repair had “properly cured,” says a Chevron letter dated June 18 to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The letter was posted July 6 on a federal website.

The letter says PHMSA officials witnessed the repair and approved restarting operation of the pipeline.

The pipeline and riser carry production from the Anna platform to the neighboring Bruce platform. From there, oil goes to the onshore Granite Point production facility.

The issue was a corrosion “feature” on the 12-inch riser, which is inside a leg of the Bruce platform.

Chevron had asked PHMSA for a special permit to waive compliance with pipeline safety regulations. Corrosion has partially eaten through the riser wall, but Chevron asserted the remaining wall thickness was sufficient to handle the low operating pressures.

PHMSA, however, denied the special permit with an April 27 letter, and Chevron shut down production from Anna.

See story in July 18 issue, available online to subscribers at noon, Friday, July 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com

Court issues schedule for drilling moratorium appeal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit today issued a revised schedule for the appeal against the Department of the Interior’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling on the U.S. outer continental shelf. The revised schedule comes on the heels of yesterday’s decision by a panel of three 5th Circuit judges, upholding a district court injunction that required the moratorium to be lifted until the appeal is heard.

Under the revised schedule, briefs and reply briefs in the case need to be filed by Aug. 20, with oral arguments scheduled for Aug. 30.

A number of oil service companies launched the appeal in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, claiming that the imposition of the moratorium was illegal and that the drilling ban would result in irreparable economic harm. The district court judge subsequently imposed an injunction against the moratorium. The Department of the Interior appealed the injunction and, hence, elevated the case to the 5th Circuit court.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in response to the district court ruling, has said that he will issue a new drilling moratorium that will spell out the situations in which drilling operation are banned.

See story in July 18 issue, available online to subscribers at noon, Friday, July 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com

State supplements lease sale findings

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas has supplemented the final findings of the director for its Beaufort Sea, Foothills and North Slope areawide lease sales to reflect the Deepwater Horizon.

In July 8 supplements the division reviewed what is known to date about the April 20 fire and explosion on the semi-submersible rig in the Gulf of Mexico which killed 11 and caused an ongoing oil spill.

It noted that a final investigative report will be made available to the public and is scheduled for release in January 2011.

“The State of Alaska is closely following the activities in the Gulf of Mexico,” the division said. “When the causes of the incident are established and made available, we will determine any applicability to Alaska, and will modify or issue new mitigation measures or lessee advisories, as needed.”

In response to a call for new information the division received comments from the North Slope Borough, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and Peter McKay, all stating that the Deepwater Horizon constituted new information which justified supplementing the best interest findings.

See story in July 18 issue, available online to subscribers at noon, Friday, July 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com

AGDC looking at economics of Cook Inlet GTL

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. has issued a request for proposals for an economic feasibility study addressing whether a gas-to-liquids project near the Cook Inlet terminus of a proposed North Slope to Southcentral bullet line could serve as an anchor tenant to increase pipeline demand, justify an increase in pipeline capacity and support the economic viability of North Slope gas delivered to Cook Inlet.

See details on the AGDC website at: www.gasline.us.com.

See AGDC story in July 11 issue of Petroleum News, available online to subscribers at noon, July 9, at www.PetroleumNews.com.

Detailed sale notice available for NPR-A Northeast

In a notice published today in the Federal Register the Bureau of Land Management said sale details are available for its Aug. 11 National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Northeast Planning Area lease sale.

BLM said in a statement that it will offer 190 tracts, some 1.8 million acres. Lands around Teshekpuk Lake are being withheld, including areas on the shoreline and to the north which have been withheld from earlier sales. In addition, the agency is withholding some 170,000 acres south of the lake because of migratory bird and caribou habitat concerns.

BLM originally proposed to offer 241 tracts, 2.3 million acres.

Bids will be opened at 9 a.m. at the Wilda Marston Theater at the ZJ Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

The detailed statement of sale is available online at www.blm.gov/ak

See story in July 18 issue, available online to subscribers at noon, Friday, July 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com

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