Putting together The Producers each year usually requires some last-minute revisions, as we try to incorporate the latest development activities and new plans for the year ahead.
This year was more uncertain than most.
As we were wrapping up the issue:
Aurora Exploration was bumping into obstacles in its acquisition of the Nicolai Creek unit through a bankruptcy sale. BlueCrest announced the suspension of drilling activities at Cosmopolitan and later announced a one-well drilling program for 2018. Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. was working to certify an existing well by the end of the year as a way to beat a development deadline. ConocoPhillips was told it could expand the Colville River unit to include the former Tofkat unit. ExxonMobil was told it needed to revise its plans for condensate production at Point Thomson. Furie announced that it had cancelled its drilling program this year in the face of the state budget stalemate over the summer.
Even the less-volatile news carried a tinge of uncertainty to it:
BP continues to cut back drilling at Prudhoe Bay. Caelus is approaching the second anniversary of its drilling suspension at Oooguruk. Eni decided to release its long-held rig at Nikaitchuq in favor of workover activities and a federal exploration venture. Glacier announced a fairly cautious program at its properties, with the possibility of exploration.
The steadiest stories came from the least and most prolific players in the state.
The North Slope Borough continues to reap the benefits of its Barrow gas fields. AIX Energy continues to do the same at the Kenai Loop field, although investments may be required soon to maintain production. On the other end of things, Hilcorp continues to advance operations at its wide portfolio on the North Slope and in the Cook Inlet basin.
Connecting many of these stories are two themes: the adjustment to a period of depressed oil prices and the impact of reduced state funding to purchase state-issued tax credits.