December 02, 2005 --- Vol. 11, No. 99December 2005

North Slope, Beaufort sales deferred again

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has deferred the North Slope and Beaufort Sea areawide oil and gas lease sales, originally scheduled for October, a second time.

In July the department deferred the sales to February, saying it wanted to focus industry attention on the Alaska Peninsula areawide sale, being held for the first time, and to spread the work of both participants and staff more evenly. “The Department of Natural Resources has worked hard to evaluate and organize AP 2005, and this sale deserves our full attention this October,” the department said July 25.

But notices posted on the Division of Oil and Gas Web page the last week in November for each of the sales said: “This sale has been delayed. The new sale data is to be determined.”

Patrick Galvin, division petroleum land manager, told Petroleum News in an e-mail that Commissioner Mike Menge requested time to familiarize himself with the oil and gas leasing program “and review the proposed terms to be offered in the next North Slope and Beaufort Sea areawide sales.”

Once the commissioner has completed his review and notified the division, a 90-day notice is required of the sale date, Galvin said, so the earliest the sales could be held is in March.

North Slope production up marginally from October

Alaska North Slope crude oil production averaged 892,192 barrels per day in November, up 0.9 percent from an October average of 884,080 bpd.

BP Exploration (Alaska)’s Milne Point field had the largest percentage month-to-month increase, up 3.78 percent to average 42,748 bpd in November, compared to 41,191 bpd in October. BP-operated Endicott averaged 21,673 bpd in November, up 3.4 percent from an October average of 20,970 bpd.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Alpine field averaged 130,597 bpd in November, up 1.9 percent from an October average of 128,114 bpd. Production from the BP-operated Prudhoe Bay field averaged 424,393 bpd in November, up 1.7 percent from an October average of 417,436 bpd.

BP-operated Lisburne averaged 40,799 bpd in November, down 0.4 percent from an October average of 40,953 bpd. The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk River field averaged 171,998 bpd in November, down 1.2 percent from an October average of 174,014 bpd.

BP-operated Northstar had the steepest month-to-month decline, averaging 59,984 bpd in November, down 2.3 percent from an October average of 61,402 bpd.

The North Slope temperature at Pump Station No. 1 averaged minus 9.6 degrees Fahrenheit for November, down from a 21.7 degree average in October. Cook Inlet production averaged 18,790 bpd in November, down 4.6 percent from an October average of 19.691 bpd.

Editor’s note: See full stories in the Dec. 11 edition of Petroleum News.

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