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January 04, 2007 --- Vol. 13, No. 2January 2007

Alaska DNR extends North Fork unit until end of March

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has extended the North Fork unit in the southern Kenai Peninsula to March 31, 2007.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management used to administer the unit on behalf of the federal government and the State of Alaska. BLM notified the unit operator, Gas-Pro Alaska, that the unit would be terminated on Oct. 1, if Gas-Pro did not drill a second well in the unit. But title to all of the land in the unit has now been conveyed from the federal government to the state and the state has decided to conditionally extend the unit.

Barry Foote, vice president of Gas-Pro, told Petroleum News Jan. 3 that the viability of drilling a second North Fork well depends on the development of a southern Kenai Peninsula natural gas pipeline to market gas from North Fork.

Gas-Pro is particularly interested in the potential to ship gas through a southern extension of the Kenai Kachemak Pipeline that Enstar is considering constructing as a gas transmission line to Homer. Enstar spokesman Curtis Thayer told Petroleum News Jan. 4 that Enstar has also been discussing with Pioneer Natural Resources the possibility of marketing natural gas from the Cosmopolitan oil prospect through a new southern Kenai Peninsula pipeline. Pioneer has told Enstar that it has discovered associated gas at Cosmopolitan, Thayer said.

For the full story see the Jan. 14 edition of Petroleum News.

Tundra travel opens in the lower foothills

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has announced that the lower foothills area of state lands in northern Alaska opened for tundra travel at 8 a.m. on Jan. 4. The opening only applies to operators with valid off-road travel permits, DNR said.

DNR said that the snow cover is still thin in some areas and that these areas should be avoided, or special construction methods should be used to protect the tundra; operators need to comply with the DNR stipulations for winter off-road winter travel.

The upper foothills area remains closed because soil temperatures are too high and there is insufficient snow cover.

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