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March 2019

Vol. 24, No.10 Week of March 10, 2019

Oil patch insider: Regenerate wins in tied Yukon Gold bid with Bachner; Beckham acting DOG director; Thar’s oil in them thar rocks!

Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

88 Energy Alaska’s subsidiary Regenerate Alaska expanded its Yukon Gold acreage from 14,194 gross contiguous acres to approximately 16,114 acres recently when it was declared high bidder on a 1,920-acre adjacent lease following a tie bid in the November state of Alaska areawide lease sale.

Both Regenerate and long-time Alaska lease speculators J. Andrew Bachner and Keith C. Forsgren tied with bids of $26.11 per acre.

Bidders were invited to submit new bids “not lower than the original bids” by the state Division of Oil and Gas, which resulted in Regenerate winning with an offer of $54.62 per acre compared to $34.22 offered by Bachner and Forsgren.

The Yukon Gold leases include an historic oil discovery, Yukon Gold 1 exploration well, drilled by BP in 1993.

- KAY CASHMAN

Beckham NAMED acting DOG director

As first reported by Suzanne Downing in Must Read Alaska on March 5, James “Jim” Beckham, deputy director of the state of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, has been named acting director following the March 1 planned departure of Chantal Walsh on March 1.

Per Downing, (http://mustreadalaska.com/oil-and-gas-division-has-beckham-as-acting-director/) the Alaska “Department of Natural Resources will recruit and hire a new division director in the weeks ahead.”

As reported in Oil Patch Insider in Petroleum News’ Feb. 17 issue, Walsh left for personal reasons, as she is needed at Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, or PRA, a consulting firm she and her husband Tom Walsh co-founded in 1997.

The Must Read Alaska story was confirmed by Dan Saddler in a March 5 email to Petroleum News.

Saddler, DNR legislative liaison/communications director, said, “Jim will serve as acting director until such time as DNR starts the recruitment process, probably within a few weeks. Until the permanent job is advertised and recruitment begins, I can offer no thoughts on whether he is interested in, or being considered for, the permanent job.”

- KAY CASHMAN

Thar’s oil in them thar rocks!

The January issue of the Alaska Geological Society’s newsletter includes an article by long-time Alaska geologist Robert Blodgett about the presence of small shelly fauna in the earliest Cambrian strata along the Beaufort Sea margin northwest of the ANWR 1002 area.

They appear to represent the earliest evolutionary experiments amongst sponges, mollusks, brachiopods, echinoderms, halkieriids and other faunal groups, Blodgett said. The earliest shelly fauna that existed before the appearance of trilobites later in the Early Cambrian, they are also referred to as the pre-trilobite fauna.

“Small shelly fauna have only just recently been recognized in a basement complex of Cambrian and possibly latest Neoproterozoic rocks present in the subsurface of an east-west trend of six wells along the Beaufort shoreline just west of the 1002 area,” Blodgett said. “This trend represents a westward thinning wedge of Cambrian age orthoquartzites, clastic and carbonate (mostly dolostone) rocks that form the basement of what was termed ‘The Six Sisters’ wells” by Blodgett and Steve Sutherlin in a 2018 paper.

To read the rest of the article or for membership information contact the Alaska Geological Society, P.O. Box 101288 Anchorage AK 99510, or check on the web at http://www.alaskageology.org.

- KAY CASHMAN

Nuiqsut, enviros, sue over exploration

#The Native Village of Nuiqsut, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club are suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Interior in federal court over BLM’s approval of ConocoPhillips Alaska’s 2018-19 winter exploration program in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The suit says BLM failed to fulfill National Environmental Policy Act requirements when it approved the winter 2018-19 winter exploration program for ConocoPhillips.

The suit asks for a declaratory judgment that defendants’ approval of the winter exploration program was “arbitrary, capricious, and/or not in accordance with law” and asks that the record of decision approving the winter exploration program be vacated and that further exploration activities in NPR-A be enjoined “until BLM has complied with the requirements of NEPA.”

Meredith Kenny, spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips Alaska, told Petroleum News in an email that the company’s “winter exploration program is partially complete and remains in progress.”

- KRISTEN NELSON






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