BP begins shipping natural gas to Northstar
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Development drilling will start later this year; reservoir penetrations still limited to November through May
PNA News Editor
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. began to move natural gas to Northstar Island in October after approval by the Joint Pipeline Office of the company’s surveillance and monitoring plan. The JPO program established the items that require surveillance and monitoring. BP is responsible for developing and maintaining a surveillance and monitoring program, which includes both physical observations and data acquired using instrumentation.
Surveillance items are enumerated on a checklist. Right of way inspections are to occur at least 26 times a year, at intervals not exceeding three weeks.
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spokesman Ronnie Chappell told PNA Oct. 24 that the gas is being used to power equipment at the island. Modules for Northstar are under construction in Anchorage, he said, and work is ongoing at the island, where they are getting the rig ready to begin development drilling later this year.
Spill test field work done for yearChappell said oil spill contingency planning field work is done for the year, and BP has begun discussions with the state.
“Our goal,” he said, “is to come to a common understanding about what industry’s capability is when it comes to responding mechanically in broken ice. We think the fall testing program shows that mechanical response in the short fall ice period is ineffective.”
Drilling is currently limited at shoreline and offshore fields. Between June and the beginning of November, drilling cannot go into hydrocarbon bearing zones.
“We do not expect the restrictions that are in place to delay Northstar startup and in our current planning we don’t see any impact to startup rate,” Chappell said.
“However,” he said, “the drilling restrictions leave us very little slack should we encounter a problem, for instance getting supplies for the drilling of additional wells to the island because the ice is late in setting up in early 2001.
“We had planned to shut down drilling next summer anyway while we were moving large production modules onto the site.”