Majid Jourabchi, president of Thyssen Petroleum USA, addressed reports that he was part of a team attempting to buy majority ownership in the North Slope Mustang oil development from investors in Caracol Petroleum, as well as restart shut-in oil production later in the year. In mid-2014 Thyssen and two other firms acquired BRPC and a package of North Slope properties from Alaska Venture Capital Group and Ramshorn Investments Inc. for $450 million.
"We're trying to bring ownership back to the North Slope," Jourabchi told Petroleum News in a May 21 email. "Anything else is not very accurate. As a start I am not a director of Alpha Energy, but we are trying to simplify the ownership and to refocus the operations."
The Mustang development loan was once again the subject of an executive session at a board meeting of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority on May 20. As expected, no resolution to the delinquent status of the loan came from that meeting.
Part of the problem was likely because Caracol, the field's majority owner, is owned by Singapore-based Alpha Energy Holdings Ltd., which under the latest agreement with AIDEA was to invest $60 million in Mustang in the first quarter of this year and advance at least $15 million to Caracol in the form of equity or a senior secured loan.
Karsten Rodvik, AIDEA's external affairs officer, told Petroleum News May 15 that Alpha has not met those commitments.
The field went online in November but went offline in December and has remained so. Some of the challenges at Mustang cannot be laid at the feet of its operator, such as the state oil tax credits veto several years ago (under the Walker administration).
"Current volatility in the oil markets has created additional issues for the Mustang project," Rodvik said. "AIDEA is currently reviewing its alternatives as a creditor to the project."
- KAY CASHMAN
See full stories in May 24 issue, available online Friday, May 22 at www.PetroleumNews.com
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