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July 30, 2008 --- Vol. 14, No. 83July 2008

State extends deadline for proof of jack-up rig transport

State oil and gas officials will give Pacific Energy an extra 60 days to hire a ship capable of bringing a specialty rig to Cook Inlet.

California independent Pacific Energy will now have until Sept. 29 to sign a contract with the heavy lift vessel operator to bring a jack-up rig to Alaska.

Pacific Energy recently signed a three-year contract to use a Black Offshore jack-up rig to drill exploration wells on offshore prospects such as the Corsair unit. Currently, the rig is stationed in the Gulf of Mexico and needs to be towed to Alaska.

Several other companies in Cook Inlet hope to get time on the rig.

DOI announces new 5-year plan for OCS oil and gas leasing

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today the U.S. Department of the Interior is starting the development of a new five-year oil and gas leasing program for the U.S. outer continental shelf. The program will span the years 2010 to 2015, a time period that overlaps the current OCS leasing program’s time frame of 2007 to 2012.

“When our current five-year program for outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing was launched in July 2007, oil was selling for $64 a barrel,” Kempthorne said. “Today a barrel of oil costs more than $120, almost double the price a year ago. Clearly, today’s escalating energy prices and the widening gap between U.S. energy consumption and supply have changed the fundamental assumptions on which many of our decisions were based.”

The announcement comes in the wake of President Bush lifting an executive ban on oil and gas leasing in many areas of the continental shelf. However, any leasing in areas subject to congressional withdrawal would require congressional action.

The multi-year process to develop the new leasing program will start with a call for information about what the next five-year program should consider, DOI said.

See full stories in Aug. 3 issue of Petroleum News available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, Aug. 1, at www.PetroleumNews.com

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