October 13, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 69October 2006

Agrium emphatic: Not shutting down Kenai plant

According to Petroleum News sources Agrium told its suppliers Oct. 12 that it was shutting down its Alaska nitrogen plant from Nov. 1 to March 1. But Agrium spokeswoman Lisa Parker says it’s absolutely not true. The company has no plans to shut down.

Agrium said in an Aug. 23 press release that it had obtained sufficient natural gas supplies to allow for the operation of its fertilizer facility in 2007, but that it expected the plant to “experience an extended shutdown during the winter months due to seasonally higher demand for home heating.”

However, it also said in the same release that the Kenai “facility is expected to operate at about 75 percent of capacity over the next 12 months, operating one ammonia and one urea plant.”

Note: Watch for update in the Oct. 22 issue of Petroleum News.

Anadarko files spill plan application for Jacob’s Ladder

On Oct. 12 Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation received an application for renewal of an Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan from Anadarko Petroleum for the eastern North Slope Jacob’s Ladder oil prospect.

Anadarko’s Alaska spokesman Mark Hanley told Petroleum News Aug. 16 (see “Slope heating up” in the Aug. 20 issue of Petroleum News) that the company was almost certainly going to drill a well at Jacob’s Ladder, but two wells in the gas-prone Brooks Range Foothills were a less likely possibility because of equipment availability.

According to DEC, operator Anadarko is planning to conduct a regional, multi-year onshore oil and gas exploration drilling program, starting with drilling and testing more than one well at Jacob’s Ladder during the upcoming winter drilling season.

“Exploration wells will be drilled from an onshore ice pad approximately 17 miles southwest of Badami and approximately 20 miles southeast of Deadhorse in the Jacob’s Ladder unit,” DEC said in its public notice. “An ice road will be constructed to the proposed drilling location and all activities are planned to be completed during the 2006-2007 drilling season. The plan proposes to address oil spill prevention and response measures to support their operation for a proposed response planning standard (RPS) of 5,500 barrels per day for 15 days to total 82,500 barrels at the drilling site.”

Public comments are due within 30 days of publication of the Oct. 12 notice. DEC will hold a public hearing on Anadarko’s spill plan application if it determines that good cause exists. Residents in the affected area or the governing body of an affected municipality may request a public hearing by writing to DEC within 30 days of the Oct. 2 notice.

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