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NEWS BULLETIN

May 18, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 58May 2001

Robson appointed deputy director of oil and gas

Bonnie Robson has been appointed deputy director/petroleum investment manager for the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas.

Robson is currently an assistant attorney general in the oil and gas section of the state Department of Law. She works as an advisor to the Division of Oil and Gas and serves as its representative on a number of diverse issues including unitization, royalty valuations, royalty-in-kind contracts and lease administration.

In addition to degrees in both economics and law, the division said she has 19 years of relevant experience both within private practice and state employment. Robson will begin work at the division sometime this summer.

State asking for 2008 production from Point Thomson

The Division of Oil and Gas is continuing to negotiate with Point Thomson unit operator ExxonMobil Production Co. on the terms of an expansion-contraction application for the unit.

But a new term, "sustained commercial production", is now part of the discussion.

A May proposal from the division to ExxonMobil requires sustained commercial production by June 15, 2008, for some of the expansion areas proposed, and 2010 and 2012 commercial production for others.

A pipeline does exist as far as Badami, about half way to Point Thomson, but lack of transportation has kept Point Thomson unit development on hold for years. The unit was formed in 1977.

The division said it will not accept lack of transportation as a reason to continue any expanded areas in the unit: "Inability to place the expansion areas on sustained commercial production by the commitments dates due to the absence of a pipeline will not be considered force majeure."

The Point Thomson owners have said they plan to begin development drilling at the field within five years of approval of a plan of expansion-contraction.

The largest Point Thomson working interest owners are ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron.

See details in the upcoming May issue of PNA.

Military plans Arctic pipeline security

Canada's military is anxious to ensure any Arctic natural gas pipeline will be protected from any terrorist threats.

Col. Kevin McLeod, commanding officer of the Canadian Forces Northern Area, told a mid-May meeting in Whitehorse that more research is needed to assess the potential threat to the security of a northern pipeline and how the system can be protected.

"It's a long, strategic resource that's carrying a natural resource," he said. "It's a natural resource that's fuelling our country and our economy and it needs to be protected."

He said there are a number of ways an Arctic pipeline could be protected, including the obvious option of burying the system. "It would also run through uninhabited areas," said McLeod. "It would be very difficult to get to, so that right away gives it some protection."

He said it would be easy to monitor the line by using manned or unmanned aircraft.

The military, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, eight federal departments and agencies and the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut were involved in the discussions.

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