August 25, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 40August 2000

Anschutz bids $1.42 million for Copper River exploration license

Anschutz Exploration Corp. of Denver has bid a work commitment of $1,420,000 and paid 20 percent down on a one-time $1-an-acre rental fee for a 398,445 acre exploration license in the Copper River basin. The bid is subject to approval by the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

Patrick Coughlin, deputy director, and Jim Hansen, lease sales manager, for DNR's Division of Oil and Gas, said at the opening Aug. 25 that another company, Mon-Oil Inc. of Calgary, originally proposed an exploration license for the Copper River basin. The state's exploration license program requires that after a proposal is received the state both evaluate the proposal received and request other bids. Anschutz submitted a proposal following the state's request. The state completed its best interest finding in July and both companies were invited to submit final sealed bids.

Had both companies submitted final bids, the statute enacting the program provides that the company submitting the highest work commitment bid receive the license.

The Anschutz proposal is for work spread over four years. In the first year, the company said it will conduct geological field work, mapping, sedimentology, stratigraphy, source rock sampling and geochemical modeling with a work value of $150,000.

In the second year, Anschutz said it will license and reprocess existing seismic data for the area, also estimated at $150,000.

The third year, with a value of $120,000, includes collection, processing and interpretation of gravity data.

In the fourth year the company said it will spend $1 million for new seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation.

The program requires annual bonding of 20 percent of the work commitment, with the bond reassessed each year and reduced by the amount of work completed.

Determination out for Cominco shallow gas lease applications

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas has issued a final benefit determination for a first group of shallow natural gas lease applications.

The applicant for these four leases is Cominco Alaska Inc. All of the leases are in the Northwest Arctic Borough in the general vicinity of Cominco's Red Dog mine.

The division said Aug. 24 that it received limited public comment during a 60-day public comment period. There was concern about the potential for interruptions to or loss of the subsistence fishery in the Wulik River drainage and potential impact on wildlife. The division said that mitigation measures would be imposed to protect subsistence activities, and that the potential threat to subsistence resources is minimal.

There is a 30-day public comment period on the determination.

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