IN THE NEWS
Cook Inlet in recent articles.
New oil spill technology a ‘game changer,’ says CIRCAC
KTOO - 06.06.13
A large oil spill in Cook Inlet is the stuff of nightmares for Alaskans who call the area home. One of the organizations dedicated to cleaning up potential spills is CIRCAC, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council. CIRCAC has a new tool in its clean-up toolbox that it’s calling a “game changer.”
Imagine a disc-shaped device – like a large donut – that’s coated in a soft, fuzzy material. That’s about as good a description as any for oil skimmers – devices that are attached to oil booms for the purpose of soaking up oil in the event of an offshore spill.
Linda Giguere is Public Outreach Director for CIRCAC. She says that oil skimmers have been around for a long time – since before the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill – and have figured prominently in oil spill cleanup all over the world. The problem is that in reality, they just aren’t that efficient. (Read more)
New law gives operators a chance for one-time lease term extension
Petroleum News - 06.09.13
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has signed legislation that could provide significant relief to diligent oil and gas companies facing the loss of expiring state leases.
House Bill 198 authorizes the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to grant a one-time extension to the primary term of a lease if deemed in the state’s best interests.
Parnell signed the bill into law on May 28 at Kenai. State Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna, sponsored HB 198. (Read more)
Looking to simplify
Hilcorp evaluating the possibility of unifying its Cook Inlet gas lines
Petroleum News - 06.16.13
When Hilcorp Alaska, the company that now dominates oil and gas production in Alaska’s Cook Inlet basin, took over Chevron’s and Marathon’s assets in the basin, the company acquired four key pipelines that deliver natural gas from Cook Inlet fields to Southcentral gas and power utilities. Now, as the dust settles from the Cook Inlet acquisitions, Hilcorp is assessing the potential to consolidate the operation of the pipelines into a single pipeline system, a move that could greatly improve pipeline efficiency, delivering cost savings to the pipeline users, Edmund Jaroch, Hilcorp Alaska’s pipeline manager, told a meeting of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska on May 29. (Read more)
Buccaneer: 100 million barrels of oil discovered in Cook Inlet
Alaska Dispatch - 06.24.13
Buccaneer Energy has discovered petroleum reserves in Cook Inlet that may hold as much as 100 million barrels of oil, the Australian-based company has announced. That's less than a year of Prudhoe Bay production; still, the find could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments to the state over the life of the fields.
The announcement comes as the company continues to drill wells using its Endeavor jack-up rig. The company brought the rig to Cook Inlet on 2012 and encountered permitting and other problems. It ended up paying more than $500,000 to the city of Homer for docking, security and other services while the rig was docked in the harbor last winter.
“None of this would have been possible without that rig, because a jack-up rig is the only type that can efficiently drill in that area,” said Buccaneer spokesman Richard Loomis. (Read more)
Anchorage economy boosted by Cook Inlet 'mini boom'
Alaska Dispatch - 06.26.13
Unemployment in Anchorage has dropped to one of the lowest levels in years, thanks in large part to a "mini-boom" in Cook Inlet and steady growth in other key areas, according to an official with the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.
Unemployment in Anchorage fell in May to the "crazy low" figure of 4.7 percent -- the lowest in five years, according to Bill Popp, the group's president.
"We're hearing consistently across the board of significantly increased difficulties in finding a qualified workforce, from tourism to business and professional services to construction," he said.
The numbers in the AEDC report, based on preliminary state and federal Labor Department figures, are subject to change as revisions are made in the coming months, meaning the rate could rise or fall slightly. (Read more)
Cook Inlet Energy to drill gas well
Company to spud Olsen Creek No. 1 by mid-June; well workovers continue on Osprey platform with commercial gas sales coming soon
Petroleum News - 05.05.13
Cook Inlet Energy LLC says it expects to spud a well no later than June 15 on its Olsen Creek natural gas prospect.
Olsen Creek is among a number of shallow gas prospects in Cook Inlet Energy’s sights. The prospect is west of the ConocoPhillips-operated Beluga River gas field.
The company plans to use its own rig 34 to drill the Olsen Creek No. 1 well.
Cook Inlet Energy said it has reached an agreement with the Alaska Mental Health Trust land office to increase asset acreage over the Olsen Creek prospect by 1,660 acres, bringing the total to 13,421 acres. (Read more)
Hilcorp, Cook Inlet Energy boost their grip on Southcentral oil, gas
Alaska Dispatch - 05.08.13
Two budding Cook Inlet energy producers came out swinging Wednesday, picking up thousands of acres of oil and gas leases in the region during Alaska's annual sale.
A total of 28 Cook Inlet tracts totaling 145,739 acres were acquired by six bidding groups. By acreage, that’s the sixth-largest ever for Cook Inlet, according to Bill Barron, director of Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas.
Barron said the sale, which brought in nearly $4.5 million, is the third largest in terms of money received by the state for Cook Inlet leases -- but it’s down from the record years in 2011 and 2012, when the state received $11 million and $6.9 million, respectively. (Read more)
USA: Cook Inlet Dredging Begins
DredgingToday.com - 05.15.13
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District began dredging the Cook Inlet Navigation Channel yesterday for the first time since its construction in 1999-2000 to maintain safe ship passage between the Knik Arm Shoal and the Port of Anchorage.
This year’s $5 million project continues through June and is the first phase of a multiple-year maintenance program to restore the channel’s capacity. The area is located almost six miles from the Port of Anchorage within Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, west of Anchorage and northeast of Fire Island.
“The project won’t change ship traffic, but will improve pilots’ timing coming across the inlet and improve safety,” said Allen Churchill, chief of Alaska District’s Operations Branch. (Read more)
New oil skimmers heading for Cook Inlet
Citizen’s Advisory Council says modern high capacity disk skimmers will replace older style skimmers for oil spill contingencies
Petroleum News - 05.26.13
A new state-of-the-art design of oil skimmer is going to replace some older style skimmers, as part of the arsenal of equipment maintained for responding to any offshore oil spill in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, according to the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. An article in the council’s May newsletter says that the new skimmers, known as disk skimmers, with especially high oil recovery factors, will replace substantially less efficient skimmers known as Transrecs. (Read more)
Japanese firm inks deals in pursuit of natural gas
Homer News - 05.29.13
Resources Energy Inc., the Japanese company interested in developing a large liquefied natural gas project, has signed several agreements to explore business relationships in Alaska.
The agreements are all nonbinding so far except for confidentiality provisions. They include two Alaska Native regional corporations, an Alaska telecommunications company and Cook Inlet natural gas producers, according to Mary Ann Pease, a vice president with Resources Energy Inc.
Agreements have also been signed, which are confidential, with Cook Inlet explorers and producers including ConocoPhillips, Cook Inlet Energy Inc., Buccaneer Energy and NordAq Energy, Pease said. (Read more)