Union Oil Co. of California further reduced its holdings in the White Hills area in September, according to reports from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. (See company profile on page 79.)
The company, an affiliate of Chevron, relinquished three leases totaling 16,890 acres in the oil and natural gas play in the central North Slope, south of the Kuparuk River unit.
Unocal also sold five leases totaling 28,694 acres in the White Hills area to 70 & 148 LLC, the North Slope subsidiary of Denver-based independent Armstrong Oil and Gas.
Most of the leases expire in January or August 2012, with one expiring in August 2014.
In recent months, 70 & 148 has built a large land position near White Hills.
The three relinquished leases each include a proposed drilling location or an actual well site: ARCOís Toolik Federal No. 3 well, Unocalís Bluebuck 6-7-9 well drilled in early 2009 and Unocalís proposed Moropus 16-6-8 well site. The five sold leases include four well sites: Texacoís Wolfbutton 32-7-8 well, Unocalís Muskoxen 36-7-8 well drilled in 2009, BP Explorationís Narvaq No. 1 well and Chevronís Ruby State No. 1 well.
The results from Bluebuck and Muskoxen wonít become public until 2011.
Unocal retained four leases in the White Hills area. Those leases include one proposed well location, Unocalís Diniotis 28-9-9 well, but no actual drill sites.
Chevron operated the White Hills exploration program and holds a 70 percent interest in the leases. A subsidiary of the French major Total holds the remaining 30 percent.
Chevron took on White Hills after acquiring Unocal in 2005. The two-year program marked the first North Slope exploration program for the major since the 1990s.