Oil patch insider: Ratcliff new Glacier president,
resuming Badami oil production
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Glacier Oil and Gas has a new president, with Stephen Ratcliff replacing Phil Elliott. Until June, Ratcliff was Glacier’s vice president of drilling, having served in that position and in other leadership roles in the company since 2013.
Created in early 2016 through the bankruptcy proceedings of Tennessee-based Miller Energy Resources, Glacier is solely focused on oil and gas fields in Alaska, and through its subsidiary Savant Alaska operates the Badami unit on the eastern North Slope and through another subsidiary, Cook Inlet Energy, operates the West McArthur River and the Redoubt Shoal units in Cook Inlet, as well as the North Fork unit on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Whereas the Badami, Redoubt and West McArthur units mainly produce oil, North Fork is a natural gas field.
Restarting Badami operationsAll three of the oil fields had suspended production because of low oil prices, but on Aug. 11, Ratcliff sent Tom Stokes, director of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, a letter saying Savant intends to restart production at the field, “an obligation stated in the May 1, 2020 Suspension of Operations approval.”
Savant previously notified the division it was initiating a significant turnaround operation and inspection of the Badami unit process equipment and facility.
“The scope of this work is extensive and there are tanks and equipment that have not been inspected and serviced since installation,” Ratcliff wrote in the Aug. 11 letter to Stokes. “During the period of non-production this work schedule is facilitated since there are no active processes to suspend. The turnaround process is projected to last approximately 30-days and the ability to initiate a restart of the field could occur on or about mid-September.”
However, Ratcliff wrote, “based upon the findings of the inspections there could be changes to this schedule.”
The current projected term for restart of full production operations at Badami is Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.
Prior to joining Glacier, Ratcliff spent his career in operating and engineering roles in the oil and gas industry - most recently with Hess Corp. - and has worked on both the service and operator side, as well as in various consulting roles.
Ratcliff currently serves on the boards of directors of both Alaska Clean Seas and Cook Inlet Spill Prevention & Response Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.
- KAY CASHMAN