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Vol. 17, No. 48 Week of November 25, 2012
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Explorers 2012: Apache donates seismic to UAF, DGGS

Apache Corp. has agreed to share its raw 3-D seismic data from the Cook Inlet basin with Alaska’s Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, and with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The idea is to enable the state and the university to better identify seismic hazards in the Cook Inlet region. Apache is shooting hundreds of square miles of 3-D seismic across the basin as part of an oil exploration program.

In a Sept. 24 release announcing the data donation, DGGS said that the university had begun accepting and processing the data. The division said that the data will include three-dimensional recordings of all seismic activity, most of it normally undetectable, during the recording period.

“Data sets like these are much too expensive to be acquired for basic scientific research and we greatly appreciate Apache’s generous donation,” said Bob Swenson, director of DGGS. “This is a great example of how public-private partnerships can generate public benefits that go far beyond state revenue and jobs created through exploration and development of our natural resources.”

Quantum leap

“This data set has the potential to generate a quantum jump in scientists’ overall understanding of earthquake hazards in Southcentral Alaska – one of the most seismically active and densely-populated regions of the state,”  said Rod Combellick, DGGS hazards geologist and division operations manager. “Better understanding these hazards can lead to improved earthquake planning and risk mitigation.”

“Apache is pleased to share the product of our seismic surveys – continuous monitoring to be recorded over two to three years – because the data will provide the State of Alaska with the ability to map the locations of earthquakes and surface faults and study ground motion over the large, earthquake-prone area in the northern Cook Inlet,” said John Bedingfield, Apache’s vice president for worldwide exploration and new ventures.

As another “good neighbor” initiative, Apache has organized what the company hopes will become an annual “Rainbow Challenge,” a fishing competition for rainbow trout on the Kenai Peninsula. The idea was to raise money for the Tustumena 200 sled dog race that takes place on the peninsula each winter, Lisa Parker, Apache Alaska’s manager, government relations, has told Petroleum News. The race had been in danger of cancellation because of a shortage of purse money, Parker said.

One factor that sparked interest in this particular race was a discovery that the race route goes through the homestead where the family of John Hendrix, Apache’s Alaska manager, used to live, Parker said. Although the primary focus of the Rainbow Challenge is funding for the sled dog race, it is possible that some proceeds from the fishing competition could go to other organizations and activities on the Kenai Peninsula in future years, she said.

—Alan Bailey



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