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April 17, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 44April 2001

More of Mackenzie Delta could be opened for exploration

Another aboriginal community in Canada's Arctic is attempting to cash in on exploration interest in the Mackenzie Delta.

The Nahanni Butte Dene has requested federal government permission to make some of its traditional lands available for exploration licenses next year. It has not specified what land would be opened up.

To prepare the way for exploration rights, the Nahanni Butte band has hired Arcis Corp. to shoot 180 miles of two-dimensional seismic this summer and a 240-mile 2-D survey in the first quarter of next year.

Northwest Territories Energy Minister Joseph Handley said new licenses in the south end of the gas-rich Delta should offer industry a natural extension of the region's "prolific Foothills geological trend."

The Inuvialuit Regional Corp. became the trailblazer for aboriginal communities a year ago when it awarded rights for four Delta parcels to three Calgary-based companies for C$75.5 million.

Chevron Canada, Petro-Canada and Anderson Exploration are committed to drill exploratory wells over a 20-year period on 766,785 acres.

The IRC or one of its subsidiaries has a right to take a 25 percent working interest in any discovery and collect royalties of 5 percent in the first four years, 10 percent in the next four years and 15 percent thereafter.

BP applies to expand Northstar unit

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., operator of the Northstar unit, and the state and federal issuers of the field's leases have reached tentative agreement on who gets what from the field when it begins producing later this year.

BP has also requested approval from the agencies, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas on the state side and the U.S. Department of the Interior Minerals Management Service on the federal side, for the inclusion of one more federal lease in the unit at the northwest corner where the field's producing Ivishak reservoir extends outside current unit boundaries.

See story in April issue of PNA.

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