October 16, 2000 --- Vol. 6, No. 50October 2000

Forcenergy to operate Copper River exploration license

Forcenergy Inc. will operate the Copper River exploration license won Aug. 25 by Anschutz Exploration Corp. of Denver.

Kevin Corbett, new ventures manager for Anschutz, told PNA that subsequent to winning the exploration license, Anschutz entered into an agreement with Forcenergy to jointly explore the area. Forcenergy will be the operator; each company will have a 50 percent interest.

Anschutz bid a $1.42 million work commitment for the license, the first the state has granted under the exploration license program.

"Because of our presence here, our ability to work with local contractors, it made sense for us to be the operator," Gary Carlson, Forcenergy vice president for Alaska, told PNA Oct. 10.

Carlson said Forcenergy has a team assigned to the Copper River prospect, and that the company is trying now to negotiate access to existing information, and will have a team in the field soon.

"We're looking for oil and gas but it's very likely gas prone in that area," Carlson said.

Anschutz bid a four-year work commitment including field work, acquiring and reprocessing existing seismic data for the area and acquiring and interpreting new seismic data.

BP target in NPR-A size of Kuparuk structure

BP will build two ice pads in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska this winter for exploration wells on a structure the size of Kuparuk, F.X. O'Keefe, vice president for exploration for BP's Alaska operations, told the Resource Development Council for Alaska Oct. 5.

The company may drill multiple reservoir penetrations from each pad, he said.

"Depending on the results we see from the initial vertical well on each pad," O'Keefe said, "we may drill as many as two or three directional penetrations from each ice pad." BP has not yet drilled in NPR-A, although it had begun permitting for work there last winter. O'Keefe said the ice pads are eight to 12 miles apart. "They're in that same area. I think we permitted six locations when we started last year and we've added two this winter because we've changed our technical view a bit."

BP is looking at "a very large structure" in NPR-A, he said. "It's actually about the same size as the Kuparuk field structure. The primary uncertainty that we're going to be out there testing this winter is what's the reservoir quality," he said.

"It may be a big structure, but we don't yet know what kind of reservoir quality we'll see there. So that's really going to be the focus of our exploration program."

Chevron and Phillips are BP's partners on the prospect, and the combined spend on this winter's NPR-A activity will be about $30 million, O'Keefe said.

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