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June 01, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 52June 2005

Forest applies for spill plan with DEC to drill Tutna prospect

Forest Oil plans to drill its Tutna oil and gas prospect on the west side of Cook Inlet, the company said in paperwork filed with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in late May.

The company applied for an oil discharge prevention and contingency plan with DEC to drill Tutna during the 2005/2006 winter season. Forest said operations for “different locations” within the Cook Inlet area – “other potential projects” -- will be added to this plan as site specific plans are developed.

The Tutna prospect drill site is in the Trading Bay State Game Refuge, on the shoreline of Trading Bay, 20 miles northwest of Nikiski. Next to Middle River, the site is approximately a half mile from Cook Inlet and 16 miles southwest along the shore from the Native village of Tyonek. Its exact location is Sec.8, T 10 N, R 12 W, Seward Meridian.

Forest said it is looking at building 4 to 9 miles of temporary road, including a temporary bridge over Nikolai Creek, depending upon what route is chosen to provide access between the site and the road system in the Tyonek/Beluga area.

The access road and pad will consist of temporary construction -- timbers, rig mats, or other specialized systems -- over a snow/ice foundation.

The company said the “plan proposes to address oil spill prevention and response measures to support Forest's operation for a proposed response planning standard of 5,500 barrels per day for 15 days to total 82,500 barrels at the drilling site.”

The 30 day public notice period began running May 26.

A pre-application meeting with other agencies has already taken place, although the only paperwork available as of June 1 was the DEC spill plan application.

Bob Britch of Northern Consulting is coordinating permitting for Forest’s Anchorage office, a state official said.

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