April 19, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 45April 2001

Cassandra Energy buys Katalla oil field

Cassandra Energy Corp. of Kenai has agreed to purchase the 465-acre Katalla oil field under a lease-purchase contract with owners Del and Ginger Welch of Valdez, Cassandra President Bill Stevens told PNA April 18. The deal takes the Alaska independent a step closer to horizontally drilling an exploratory well into adjacent ground in the Chugach National Forest where the subsurface oil and gas rights are held by Chugach Alaska Corp.

Cassandra, which is owned by a group of private investors, has leased 10,134 acres adjacent to Katalla from the Native regional corporation. Katalla is 50 miles south of Cordova and the site of Alaska’s first commercial oil production.

Under a 1982 agreement with the federal government, Chugach Alaska has to locate commercial quantities of hydrocarbons on the acreage by Dec. 31, 2004, or the subsurface rights revert to the government.

Stevens, who is the safety and health program coordinator for Inlet Drilling Alaska Inc. in Kenai, plans to use Inlet Rig CC1. He hopes to start drilling in late fall.

Stevens is involved in the permitting process now with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, but said he has not yet started to work with state agencies.

To get access to the acreage, Stevens has asked the Forest Service for the right to use a road built in the 1980s beside the tidal flats to the property.

Rick Rogers, Chugach Alaska land and resources manager, said that if Stevens finds oil, Chugach Alaska is entitled to surface access under a 1982 agreement with the federal government. Surface access would include pipelines, roads and other facilities for the transportation of oil and gas from the Katalla area to market.

Forest sees additional Cook Inlet opportunities

Forest Oil Corp. sees opportunities in Cook Inlet on the east side, on the west side and in the inlet, Forest Senior Vice President Gary Carlson told the Resource Development Council April 19.

Offshore, the company is currently drilling a second exploration well from its Osprey Platform at the Redoubt Shoal field. "The second well, that we're drilling now, will tell us a lot about how big the field is," Carlson said.

The company began permitting work for Redoubt in late 1998, he said, and hopes to have permits in hand this summer, so if the field is large enough for commercial development, the company will be ready to go. The plan is to put most of the facilities — including power generation, water injection and gas handling — on shore with cables and pipelines running out to the platform.

Carlson said Forest is a partner in the exploratory well Phillips Alaska Inc. is permitting on the east side and is evaluating some of its own acreage on the west side, where development drilling is almost complete at the Forest-operated West McArthur River field. As for a date for more Cook Inlet exploratory drilling, Carlson said perhaps as early as 2002.

BP shareholders nix anti-ANWR, anti-fossil fuel resolution

A preliminary tally indicates BP shareholders have overwhelmingly rejected Special Resolution 18 "Directing the Board to Report on Reducing/Eliminating the Production of Fossil Fuels in Response to Climate Change". The shareholder resolution if passed would have directed the board to avoid drilling in ANWR for environmental reasons.

Of the shareholders who voted, 92.6 percent voted against the resolution, and 7.4 percent were in favor, according to Wendy Silcock of the company’s London office. Silcock said that as of April 19, only proxy votes had been counted.

“Those who attended the meeting left their polling cards in a box as they left and we therefore will not have a final tally until tomorrow,” Silcock said. “However, the bulk of the voting is usually done by proxy so the numbers are unlikely to change enormously."

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