Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
October 2020

Vol. 25, No.42 Week of October 18, 2020

Oil patch insider: Alaska gets 4 new unit apps; NAPE Summit back! US icebreaker down

Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas has four new applications to form units - three on the North Slope and one in the Cook Inlet basin.

“They’re the first unit applications we’ve received in three years,” division Director Tom Stokes told Petroleum News Oct. 12.

The four applications were previously reported by PN and are as follows:

* Seaview unit by Hilcorp Alaska, a small gas field south of Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula (see story in PN’s Sept. 13 issue).

* Alkaid and Talitha, two adjacent North Slope units south of Prudhoe Bay, by Great Bear Petroleum Ventures I and Great Bear Ventures II and Borealis Alaska, respectively (see story in PN’s Sept. 13 issue). Great Bear is owned by Pantheon Resources.

* West Harrison Bay unit by Shell Offshore Inc. in the shallow state waters of the Beaufort Sea (see story in PN’s Sept. 6 issue). Shell told the division it does not intend to operate the unit’s 18 leases; rather it filed for a unit application to prevent the leases from expiring, expecting to bring in a partner in 2021 to share the risks of exploration and possible development, and designating its partner as operator.


NAPE Summit is back — in person and online!

Message from Le’Ann Callihan, director of NAPE:

When we hosted NAPE Summit back in February, we had no idea what challenges would lie ahead. Just a month post-Summit, the entire world changed, and we were all forced to face a “new normal.” Unable to host Summer NAPE as planned, we adapted the original NAPE concept - a central marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together - to an online platform, the NAPE Network. As we look ahead to 2021, we are adapting NAPE once again.

2021 NAPE Summit will be a hybrid event. We will host NAPE Summit in person at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and virtually on the NAPE Network. The in-person event will feature many of the NAPE staples - exhibits booths, Prospect Preview Presentations, the Global Business Conference, the NAPE Charities industry event and much more. The NAPE Network will allow virtual attendees to livestream speaker events, browse the exhibit booths and prospects available at NAPE, as well as chat online with other attendees. All in-person attendees and exhibitors will also have access to the NAPE Network.

The health and safety of all NAPE participants is extremely important. We are working closely with the GRB Convention Center and the Houston First team to ensure we provide a safe and secure environment for our attendees. Numerous new safety provisions are being added, such as: modifying the expo floor to allow for 10-foot separation between each booth; implementing new sanitation and disinfection measures; enhancing the registration process to enable faster badge pickup; and requiring temperature screenings and face masks for entrance and ensuring social distancing protocols are followed throughout the event.

Although NAPE Summit may look different, our goal remains the same - to serve the industry by bringing professionals together to connect and reconnect with industry colleagues, conduct business and help invigorate the industry and economy in the safest way possible. NAPE Summit - in Houston and on the NAPE Network - will be the place to discover new opportunities, gain insight from industry experts, form connections and make deals happen.

We are excited to provide the flexibility of a hybrid event and invite you to participate in all that NAPE Summit has to offer.

Registration opens Oct. 21. Whether you choose to attend in person or online, we can’t wait to bring the energy of NAPE to you!

Engine fire takes out only US icebreaker touring Arctic ’til 2021

The only U.S. icebreaker patrolling the Arctic faces extensive repairs after an electrical fire on Aug. 18 that damaged the main propulsion system. The U.S. Coast Guard has not said how long the repairs will take but has said the cutter is expected to be operational again for its next Arctic patrol in 2021.

“Healy was 60 nautical miles off of Seward, Alaska, en route to the Arctic when an electrical fire was reported at 9:30 p.m. A fire team disconnected the affected motor, and the fire was confirmed extinguished by 9:56 p.m.” The cause of the fire is currently unknown the service said in an Aug. 25 statement.

“Due to the fire, Healy’s starboard propulsion motor and shaft are no longer operational.” There were no reported injuries.

The ship is sailing back to its homeport in Seattle for repairs.

On Oct. 13 ArcticToday reported that the previous week “the Coast Guard hauled out a 23-year-old engine, weighing 106 tons, from a storage facility in Baltimore. Next, a barge will carry the engine from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast, traversing the Panama Canal.”

“We don’t have an estimated time of repair yet; that will be negotiated with shipyard depending the exact scope of work,” NyxoLyno Cangemi, an assistant public affairs officer with the Coast Guard, told ArcticToday.

The Healy, a medium duty icebreaker often used as a base for polar research, was commissioned in 2000 and is currently the only icebreaker in the U.S. fleet to regularly conduct Arctic patrols., with the only other Arctic icebreaker, the 42-year-old Polar Star, a heavy duty icebreaker, most often working to support the annual breakup and resupply of McMurdo.

Congress approved a funding appropriation for the construction of a new heavy polar icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard, signed into law by President Donald Trump on Feb. 15, 2019. It included $655 million for the construction of the vessel.

The appropriation followed the passage in August 2019 of a national defense authorization act, authorizing among other things the construction of six heavy polar-class icebreakers for the Coast Guard. The new appropriation accounts for the first of these vessels. In addition, the appropriation includes another $20 million to cover the acquisition cost of long lead-time materials for the second of the icebreakers.

Construction of the first icebreaker will begin in 2021 and could take three years to finish.

Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021, which began on Oct. 1 without an approved budget, included $555 million in funding for a second new icebreaker.

In February, Adm. Karl L. Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, announced plans for a third heavy icebreaker as well as three medium breakers - but he did not provide a timeline.

Schultz has also emphasized the lack of communications in the Arctic, ArcticToday reported.

In February, he said, “When Healy sails this summer, it will do so, yet again, without reliable communications for large portions of its multi-month patrol.”


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