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September 23, 2014 --- Vol. 20, No. 47September 2014

Chukchi SEIS schedule slips a few weeks

In a status report filed with the federal District Court in Alaska yesterday the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that it now anticipates publishing a draft of its revised version of the supplementary environmental impact statement, or SEIS, for the 2008 Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale in late October for public review. Following a 45-day public comment period and subsequent revisions to the document, the new schedule would lead to the issue of the final SEIS in late February, with a new record of decision for the lease sale coming 30 days later.

In July the bureau had said that it anticipated publishing the draft SEIS in early October, with the final SEIS anticipated in early February and the record of decision expected in early March.

The timing with which BOEM issues a new SEIS and lease sale decision is particularly critical for Shell, the company spearheading efforts to explore in the Chukchi Sea. Shell hopes to continue its Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program in the summer of 2015, presumably starting in July, after sea ice has retreated from the region. But, to achieve that target, the company must presumably start activating its drilling fleet several months earlier, an operation involving significant work effort and cost.


Hilcorp planning consolidations

Hilcorp Alaska LLC is considering two consolidations among its Cook Inlet properties.

The Houston-based independent wants to combine the Granite Point field and South Granite Point unit to reduce redundancies and is considering whether it should use the facilities at its Kasilof unit to support operations at a more productive field nearby.

Granite Point and South Granite Point are neighboring offshore fields on the west side of Cook Inlet. After acquiring the fields in 2011, through its acquisition of Union Oil Company of California assets, Hilcorp began working over wells using the Anna and Bruce platform at Granite Point and the Granite Point platform at South Granite Point.

On the other side of Cook Inlet, Hilcorp is signaling that it might suspend or at the very least scale back its activities at the Kasilof unit and redirect those facilities elsewhere.

Given the declining production and lack of foreseeable opportunities for development at Kasilof, Hilcorp told the state that it might use the Kasilof facilities to assist another asset, probably the nearby Ninilchik unit.


See stories in Sept. 28 issue, available online Friday, Sept. 26 at www.PetroleumNews.com

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