May 31, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 63May 2001

Phillips applies to expand Kuparuk River unit

Phillips Alaska Inc. has applied to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas to expand the Kuparuk River unit and to create a new participating area for the Meltwater development on the southwest corner of Kuparuk. Phillips is the operator. The proposed Meltwater participating area would include 6,219 acres.

The proposed Kuparuk River expansion, sections 19-36 of township 8 north range 7 east, Umiat meridian, is 11,367 acres, which would bring that unit to 384,539 acres.

The bell’s going to toll for ANWR opponents, Stevens says

Sen. Ted Stevens says he remains confident that Congress will ultimately approve development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge despite statements to the contrary by incoming Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

“It saddens me to hear him say that as majority leader; it’s not material,” Stevens said May 30 at a press conference in Anchorage. Daschle had said over the weekend that ANWR was a dead issue. “When gasoline is $3 a gallon on the East Coast it will pass,” Stevens said, adding that prices were predicted to hit that level in summer 2002.

Stevens lauded the support of labor for ANWR development and said that in addition to ANWR jobs, labor is concerned about massive layoffs in energy dependent industries if prices spike too high.

“The margins of these companies can’t take a 100 percent fuel price increase,” he said.

Stevens said there were about 48 votes in the ANWR camp now, and that three members that were off again/on again supporters but currently counted as no votes were from states where labor is powerful.

California’s energy troubles are “the AIDS of the energy era, spreading east,” and in the East the problems will be more serious because the region is more sensitive about building new generators and refineries than California is, Stevens said.

“The bell’s going to toll for those that are opposed,” Stevens said.

Stevens said ANWR could pass next session, but that there was no need to put a timetable on it.

“We have the gas line,” he said.

Cam Toohey, executive director of Arctic Power, told PNA May 30 that "only the timing and the strategy (for opening ANWR) have changed. A vote is more likely for the summer of 2002 than September 2001."

Yukon issues call to cash in on high commodity prices

The Yukon government has opened its 2001 call for nominations in North Yukon, setting the stage for its third sale of oil and gas rights in two years. In the first two rounds the only successful bidder was a subsidiary of Anderson Exploration, which paid C$23.3 million in work bids on 260,000 acres in the Eagle Plain and Peel Plateau areas, which hold an estimated 500 billion cubic feet of gas and 10 million barrels of oil.

Yukon Premier Pat Duncan said high oil and gas prices provide a "window of opportunity for attracting investment in the Yukon that may not occur again for several years.

"By offering areas with good oil and gas prospects, the Yukon is creating opportunities for investment and economic development."

The government consulted with First Nations and other stakeholders before issuing the call, which closes July 18.

Duncan said "we worked hard to balance land use concerns with development interests when choosing this area."

Once the nominations are received, a public review will take place to identify any environmental, socio-economic and surface access concerns. Specific parcels will then be offered in a call for bids.

The call for nominations is available on the Department of Economic Development website:

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