October 05, 1998 --- Vol. 4, No. 48October 1998

BP term price up 11.5 percent

BP America’s October term price for Alaska North Slope crude is $14.14 a barrel, an increase of $1.63 (11.53 percent) from the September price of $12.51 a barrel.

The Alaska Department of Revenue division of oil and gas audit said prices continue below its spring fiscal year forecast of $15.32 a barrel as crude oil inventories remain above normal levels. The fiscal year-to-date average of BP’s term price is $12.84 a barrel, down 19 percent from the fiscal year 1998 average of $15.85 a barrel. The division attributed the September price rise to hurricane-induced closure of refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP’s October term price of $14.14 a barrel is the highest since February, when the term price was $14.77 a barrel. The high for the year was $16.41 a barrel in January. The year-to-date average is $13.29 a barrel, down 33 percent from the comparable year-to-date average price of $19.69 a barrel in 1997.

BP’s October 1997 price was $18.09 a barrel.

BP is the largest producer of ANS crude and the only producer to post term prices, based on spot prices for the preceding month.

Production up slightly in spite of 29-hour pipeline shutdown

Alaska North Slope September crude oil and natural gas liquids production was up 0.8 percent, a gain of 9,251 barrels a day, in spite of the 29-hour shutdown of the trans-Alaska pipeline system late in the month.

Prudhoe Bay, Endicott up from September

Prudhoe Bay had the largest per barrel increase from August. Its production averaged 592,224 barrels a day, an increase of 12,568 barrels a day from August (up 2.12 percent).

Endicott production rose 4,991 barrels a day in September, averaging 51,665 barrels a day, a 9.66 percent increase from August production averaging 46,674 barrels a day. Endicott’s satellite field, Eider, started production in June.

Lisburne leads decline

The Lisburne production center had the largest per barrel decline between September and August, 4,836 barrels a day. September production at Lisburne averaged 157,520 barrels a day, down from 162,356 barrels a day in August and down 29.89 percent from an average of 204,610 barrels a day in September 1997.

Milne Point had the largest percentage production decline in September, 7.64 percent, averaging 53,449 barrels a day, down 4,085 barrels a day from an August average of 57,534 barrels a day. Milne Point also had the only increase from last year, up 1.35 percent from an average 52,727 barrels a day in September 1997.

Long-term test production begins at Midnight Sun

The first Prudhoe Bay oil field satellite has begun production.

Major field owners ARCO Alaska Inc., Exxon Company USA and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. said Oct. 5 that long-term test production has started from the Midnight Sun oil field adjacent to Prudhoe Bay.

The field is producing approximately 2,000 barrels per day of 29 API gravity oil and 750,000 cubic feet of gas per day from the discovery well. An additional delineation well is being drilled on ARCO/Exxon acreage east of the discovery well.

The companies said they plan to apply for additional state approvals associated with permanent production operations in 1999. The long-term test production will be from an existing drill site using Prudhoe Bay facilities to process the crude.

Midnight Sun is the first oil and gas accumulation in or around Prudhoe Bay field to begin production under terms of the recent facility-sharing agreement among the Prudhoe Bay owners.

Midnight Sun is one of a number of satellite fields which have begun production since December 1997. Others include Tarn, Tabasco and West Sak, near the Kuparuk River field and Eider near the Endicott oil field.

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