Top officials depart state agency
Two top state officials who deal with oil and gas are leaving. Chantal Walsh, director of the Division of Oil and Gas, and Paul Decker, senior petroleum geogist in the division’s resource evaluation group, are headed out. The moves are unrelated to the change of administration. Decker is taking a position at Oil Search, the company now developing the Pikka prospect, while Walsh is returning to PetroTechnical Resources, where she worked previously.

ConocoPhillips’ Alaska earnings in 20-18
ConocoPhillips earned a $1.8 billion profit on its Alaska operations in 2018 and $445 million in the fourth quarter. The company also said it also spent $1.3 billion on capital projects during the year. In a review of the year for financial analysts, ConocoPhillips said it has set a $40-per-barrel break-even price for all of its future Alaska projects, a reduction from a break-even threshold of $60 three years ago. The lower threshold is a result of cost-cutting initiatives.

ANWR lease sale next winter?
Public hearings are wrapping up on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for leasing in the Arc- tic National Wildlife Refuge with the final EIS and Record of Decision still scheduled for this fall. That means a lease sale could be held next winter. Mean- while, SA Exploration, a seismic company hoping to do a geophysical exploration program in the refuge, says it might still be able to move equipment in and do a short program, and be ready for next winter. Is- sues over detection of polar bear dens, and the federal shutdown, affected the company’s ability to do a full program this

ASRC plans test of its Placer well
ASRC Exploration says it plans to do a flow test at its Placer No. 3 well beginning in late March. ASRC’s leases are near the western boundary of the Kuparuk River Unit, in which the producing Kuparuk field is located. ASRC plans a 18-to-20 day flow test to determine productivity of the well. If developed, Placer would likely be a small producer similar to the Brooks Range Petroleum’s Mustang field, which is nearby. ASRC is tentatively planning a four-well development with three production wells and one injector well.

Hilcorp’s Moose Pad completion
Hilcorp Energy is proceeding with final installation and testing work related to its new $400 million Moose Pad project in the Milne Point field. Moose Pad will add about 60 million barrels of reserves in the field, and Hilcorp has designed a new production facility with capacity for 85,000 barrels per day of new production.

Oil jobs rose in December: State data
December employment data from the state shows oil and gas jobs up 1.1 percent and construction rising 1.5 percent, continuing a trend as the state’s recession levels off. Total employment statewide was down 0.3 percent, or 900 jobs, from December 2017.

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