North Slope Exploration Venture Draws BP
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has joined the partnership of Anadarko
Petroleum Corp. and Alberta Energy Company Ltd. in an exploration venture
on more than three million acres of the foothills region. The three have
already begun work in the first North Slope exploration plan focused on
natural gas recovery, an area with reserves of 35 Tcf.
Under terms of the agreement, BP acquired a one-third interest in Anadarko's
three-year-old agreement with Arctic Slope Regional Corp., an Inupiat Eskimo
group, for an undisclosed amount. In exchange, BP will give Anadarko an
interest in a satellite prospect located near Prudhoe Bay as well as an
interest in some seismic surveys conducted on the North Slope.
BP also will buy for an undisclosed amount a third interest in exploration
rights to nearly 230,000 acres of state lands on the North Slope leased
last year by Anadarko and AEC (see NGI, Sept.
"We see a lot of potential there to help meet the increasing demand
for natural gas in the Lower 48," said Anadarko COO John N. Seitz,
and noted that BP already was a "major producer on the Slope."
No timetable was released on when additional exploration and production
Several seismic surveys have already begun, with Anadarko as operator
and each company holding a one-third interest in the joint program. The
territory is in the foothills area of the Brooks Range region of the North
Slope, south of the existing producers' fields. It stretches east to west
for about 250 miles from the Colville River to the Canning River.
Several Calgary-based producers, including AEC Oil & Gas (USA),
also are teaming up in various ventures to explore areas of Alaska's North
Slope (see NGI, Aug. 7, 2000). AEC farmed
into a drilling play on land and offshore in shallow waters near the Prudhoe
Bay oilfield. AEC's agreement with Phillips Alaska and Chevron U.S.A. covers
about 220 square miles of hunting grounds, including McCovey offshore and
Grizzly Gomo on the North Slope.
Carolyn Davis, Houston
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