May 21, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 55May 2002

Anadarko estimates Foothills contain as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil, 40 TCF gas

An Anadarko Petroleum Corp. executive told attendees of a western regional conference of geologists and petroleum engineers today that the company’s preliminary reserves assessment for the Brooks Range Foothills indicates the region holds between 500,000 to 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 20-40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Greg Hebertson, who does corporate and strategic planning for the Houston-based independent, talked about the exploration challenges and opportunities in the Brooks Range Foothills at a morning presentation to a joint meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Petroleum Engineers being held in Anchorage.

Anadarko is a major leaseholders and explorer in the Foothills, which has long been considered a gas-prone region.

(See complete story in the May 26 edition of Petroleum News Alaska.)

MMS issues Liberty project final EIS

Last Friday the U.S. Minerals Management Service published the final environmental impact statement for BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.'s Beaufort Sea Liberty project.

The EIS evaluates a development and production plan, an oil spill contingency plan and a pipeline right-of-way application submitted by BP in early 1998. The Liberty project was put on hold by BP in January pending an ongoing re-evaluation of its configuration and costs.

On March 5, BP asked MMS and other permitting agencies to consider permit applications incomplete and suspend processing them.

“BP indicated that submission of a modified DPP for the Liberty project would likely take 6 months or more,” MMS said in a written statement today.

The agency decided to publish the final EIS “because it documents the extensive analysis done for the project, and MMS expects to use it as a reference document for future projects.”

BP proposed to develop the Liberty Prospect from a gravel island

about five miles from shore, 20 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, and about 8 miles east of its Endicott development. The proposal includes a self-contained offshore drilling and production facility on a man-made gravel island and a sub-sea and onshore pipeline that would connect to the Badami oil pipeline.

BP estimates that Liberty contains 120 million barrels of recoverable oil. MMS said the state of Alaska would share 27 percent of the federal royalties.

The final EIS analyzes BP’s proposed development and production plan and a variety of alternatives, such island location and pipeline route, pipeline design and burial depth, island slope protection, and potential gravel sources.

The final EIS also examines the No Action alternative.

MMS said the EIS “contains a good deal of technical information beyond what is normal for an EIS.”

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