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Vol. 14, No. 40 Week of October 04, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

TG, BRPC reach settlement

Plan to drill 1-2 exploration wells at North Slope Beechey Point unit this winter

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Winter exploration by BRPC is moving ahead after legal difficulties between partners in the North Slope Beechey Point unit were resolved in late September.

TG World, AVCG and Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. have reached a settlement related to TG World’s participation in the Alaska joint venture involving AVCG and BRPC.

TG World Energy Corp. said Sept. 30 that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, TG World Energy Inc., “has settled all outstanding legal disputes” with AVCG and BRPC.

AVCG-BRPC began proceedings against TG World in December 2008, TG World said, “alleging that TG World had breached its obligations under the agreements governing the joint venture.”

TG World said it denied all allegations and the joint venture partners had been in dispute, “but have now resolved these differences with this settlement effective immediately.”

Litigation between the parties “and related claims and counterclaims have been dismissed with prejudice,” TG World said.

TG World executed the Beechey Point unit agreement as part of the settlement agreement.

The state approved the 52,876-acre Beechey Point unit in late August without TG World’s signature, saying that the signing owners controlled 78.9 percent of title to the 25 leases, “which is effective control under the unit operating agreements.”

Wells dependent on settlement

BRPC Vice President of Land Jim Winegarner told Petroleum News Sept. 30 that the plan is to drill one to two exploration wells this winter in the Beechey Point unit.

“Our focus will be to fulfill work commitments described in the Beechey Point unit plan of exploration,” he said.

The Beechey Point unit plan of exploration requires the drilling of the first exploration well in the unit during the winter of 2011 and the drilling of a second exploration well by the winter of 2013.

Joint venture formed in 2006

The companies formed a joint venture and signed a joint operating agreement in 2006, requiring completion of a follow-up operating agreement within 10 days. The operating agreement was not signed until 2008.

AVCG argued in court filings that the 2008 agreement was binding because Clifford James, president and CEO of TG World Energy, signed the document on Oct. 21, 2008.

TG World argued that the 2006 contract was still valid, saying James’ signature on the 2008 contract was “affirmatively withdrawn” when AVCG failed to meet certain conditions.

After running disputes on the agreements between the parties, TG World Energy said in a November 2008 statement that it was postponing its participation in “drilling and development programs” planned for the winter of 2008-09.

BRPC filed suit against TG World for breach of contract in early December 2008; TG World Energy filed a counterclaim in January 2009, refuting the claims in the BRPC suit.

A mediation attempt ordered by Superior Court Judge Craig Stowers in February 2009 failed to produce a settlement; a trial date had been set for early January 2010.



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