Friday, January 30, 2015

Senator Click Bishop "Click on Uncle Sam"

Click Bishop - Senator for Alaska District C reads from "Click on Uncle Sam: Dr. Click's Deluxe Edition" and sends the message to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and President Barack Obama to pack their crap, hit the road and not look back
Alaska lawmaker hits Obama and the feds with nursery rhyme

Friday, January 23, 2015

Larry Persily "We are not there yet; but a gas project is getting closer

Larry the Persily, Federal Pipeline Coordinator testified this afternoon to the House Resources Committee. It was the same presentation he gave to Commonwealth North's Energy Action Coalition (CWN) this afternoon. Larry's CWN presentation slides

Monday, January 12, 2015

Linc Energy won’t need access road for Umiat field project

Alaska Contract Staffing

Tim Bradner
Alaska Journal of Commerce

An independent oil and gas company working on development of a small oil field at Umiat, on the southern North Slope, said the state’s termination of permitting for a resources road into the area won’t affect its plans.

The company, Australia-based Linc Energy, believes it can develop the field as a “roadless” project with surface access by winter snow road. A pipeline would still be needed, however, said company spokesman Paul Ludwig.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice in the Federal Register Jan. 5 that it has halted work on a federal environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the road, and was requested to do so by the project sponsor, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The Army Corps was acting as lead agency in supervising third party contractors working on the EIS but was taking a neutral position on the road, according to a statement from Corps spokesman John Budnik.

“The Corps has suspending work and has closed the project file. After confirming on Oct. 21 that the agency (the state DOTPF) has no future plans to proceed with the project, the Corps determined that the appropriate action was to terminate the EIS,” according to the statement.

Ludwig said Linc Energy is still in the process of evaluating reservoir data from drilling last winter. That evaluation will guide planning for potential production and the needs for infrastructure including roads, Ludwig said.

The company has been doing its own evaluation of possible road routes including three other potential corridors in addition to those being studied by the state.

“We are also evaluating whether we can develop the project using winter roads,” he said.

Linc Energy built a 100-mile snow road from the Dalton Highway to Umiat two winters in a row to support winter drilling operations.

Umiat is within the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and on the Colville River at the far southeast border of the reserve. It was a support site for 1950s-era U.S. Navy exploration in the reserve, then the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 as well as further exploration by the U.S. Geological Survey and private companies from the 1970s on.

The oil deposit at Umiat, which is small and shallow, was discovered in the early Navy drilling.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management ultimately sold leases in the area to private companies. Linc Energy acquired leases held by Renaissance Umiat, an exploration company.

Seismic and drilling exploration by Linc Energy has confirmed the presence of 155 million barrels of reserves and 194 million barrels of potential reserves. The oil-in-place (oil held in the reservoir rock) is estimated at 1.2 billion barrels.

The known resource at Umiat is small but also shallow — some of the oil is literally frozen into the permafrost layer extending down 2,000 feet on the North Slope — but the oil is also of very high quality, approximately 45 degrees of API gravity.

Linc Energy had hoped to find additional oil resources below the known deposit in its first year of exploration drilling, but failed to do so.

In the second year the company drilled test horizontal production wells in the shallow deposit and achieved a flow of oil but not at quantities hoped for. The drilling results are still under analysis, Ludwig said.

Petroleum engineers familiar with Umiat have said that Linc Energy may be able to adapt technology that could boost production, such as with natural gas. There may be natural gas on the leases at Umiat but a known gas discovery was also made in early Navy drilling at Gubik, on state lands to the east of Umiat.

Those resources are now owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and are under lease to Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

The state’s road plan had become a political issue on the North Slope. Inupiat villagers at Anaktuvuk Pass, in the Brooks Range, have expressed concerns over impacts that an east-west gravel road would have on seasonal caribou migrations.

There were also concerns that access to the area would be opened to sport hunters driving north on the Dalton Highway, which is a public state road.

The North Slope Borough, the regional municipality, has proposed an alternative route from the north that would link with existing oilfield roads in the Kuparuk and Alpine field areas.

This would solve concerns over access by sports hunters because of controlled access and heavy security on the private oilfield road system.

Read more:

Hilcorp files plan for Liberty field development

Alaska Contract Staffing
Tim Bradner
Alaska Journal of Commerce

Hilcorp Energy has filed a plan for developing the Liberty offshore field after closing its deal to acquire 50 percent of the unit from BP. Hilcorp also acquired 100 percent of the Northstar and Endicott fields from BP, and 50 percent of Milne Point. The company plans for an offshore gravel island similar to Northstar to develop Liberty.

The project would involve an artificial gravel island and a subsea pipeline to shore, company officials said. Hilcorp recently closed on the purchase of 50 percent of Liberty from BP along with three small producing North Slope fields. Hilcorp is the operator at Liberty with BP remaining as a 50 percent partner.

Liberty is a long-known but undeveloped deposit in shallow waters five miles off the Beaufort Sea coast and east of the Endicott field, which is also now owned and operated by Hilcorp as a part of the acquisition of BP properties.

The production island would be connected to shore with a subsea pipeline, and with a short overland pipeline segment to a tie-in with the existing Badami Pipe Line.

Hilcorp’s North Slope Operations Manager Mike Dunn said the deposit has estimated recoverable oil reserves that range from 80 million to 150 million barrels. Based on what is now known, Hilcorp expects Liberty to produce about 60,000 barrels per day at peak, Dunn said.

The company expects regulatory reviews and permitting to require about two years, which means that construction of the artificial island could be started in 2017. Construction is expected to take about two years, which would mean first oil in 2019 if everything stays on schedule, Dunn said.

Hilcorp also purchased 100 percent of the offshore Northstar field in the deal with BP, which is similar to Liberty in size, along with 50 percent of the Milne Point field BP also developed with an artificial gravel island and subsea pipeline.

Early on, BP had planned to develop Liberty with an offshore gravel production island and subsea pipeline, like it had done at Northstar, but switched to an alternative of drilling extended-reach, high-angle production wells from shore partly out of concerns for the permitting issues of building another artificial production island. Technical obstacles prevented that from happening, and BP switched back to the offshore island concept prior to the sale to Hilcorp.

Dunn said his company will be able take advantage of BP’s experience in building and successfully operating at Northstar for 14 years as well as the experience of Pioneer Natural Resources and Eni Oil and Gas in constructing and producing the small Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq offshore fields west of Northstar.

Liberty is in more benign offshore environment than Northstar. The area where the artificial island would be built is covered by stable “shore-fast” sea ice in winter, meaning ice that is fixed to the shore and has little movement. Liberty is within a belt of offshore barrier islands, which offers protection from the heavy, moving polar icepack.

Northstar, in contrast, is in a location that has no barrier island protection and is exposed to moving winter ice. Northstar is west of Liberty and six miles north of Prudhoe Bay. Although it is more exposed the moving ice has never presented an operational or safety issue at Northstar in its 14 years of production.

The filing of the development plan with BOEM is the start of an extended regulatory proceeding.

“BOEM now has 25 working days to conduct a preliminary review to assess whether the application includes all required components,” BOEM spokesman John Callahan said in a statement. “By the end of that period BOEM must either formally deem the development plan submitted, which triggers further regulatory review and a review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or let Hilcorp know what additional information would be required in order to deem the plan submitted.”

Read more: