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Sourced from Reuters via Yahoo News



Democrats fight Alaska drilling in defense bill By Tom Doggett
Mon Dec 19, 6:54 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats on Monday threatened a filibuster to stop Republicans from adding a measure allowing oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to a wartime defense spending bill.

For decades, lawmakers have debated whether to give oil companies access to the refuge, home to caribou, polar bears, migratory birds and other wildlife. ANWR, which sprawls along Alaska's northern coast, is the size of South Carolina.

Tapping ANWR's crude oil output, estimated at 1 million barrels per day, is a top priority of the Bush administration. Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans say tougher fuel standards for sport utility vehicles and minivans could save the same amount of oil.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted before dawn on Monday to pass a $453.3 billion defense budget bill with the ANWR drilling provision attached. Senate debate began later.

Furious Democrats said including ANWR drilling to a bill funding U.S. soldiers during wartime violated Senate rules that require a spending bill to include only germane items.

"These tactics reflect poorly on this body and this leadership," said Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), a Wisconsin Democrat, "Funding for our brave men and women in uniform should not be jeopardized by opening ANWR to drilling."

Democrat Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said the ANWR measure was a "Christmas package designed for delivery to the oil industry" and should be dropped from the bill. "We have got to fight as hard as we can to stop that delivery," he said.


Democrats planned a procedural move on Wednesday to delete the ANWR language because it did not appear in original defense spending bill but was added later by House-Senate negotiators. Republicans are likely to defeat that move with a majority of 51 votes, according to aides.

Then, Democrats are expected to launch a filibuster to try and talk the bill to death. Republicans would need 60 votes to end debate and bring the bill to a vote.

"I don't think either side knows precisely what the count is," Republican Pete Domenici of New Mexico told reporters. But he expressed confidence that the entire bill would pass.

"We say it will be 60 senators who will understand that you have to vote for the defense bill (with ANWR in it) because the soldiers need their pay and the military needs their money," said Domenici, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

"I don't have any hesitation to be a part of a filibuster," said Democrat Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. "This is a fight worth waging."

Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record) of Alaska pushed to include the drilling plan in the defense budget. Alaska would get half the estimated $10 billion energy companies would pay for drilling rights if oil were at $50 a barrel, according to government estimates. The federal government would get the other half.

"Oil is related to national security. This is an amendment to pursue domestic production of oil," he said. "The largest consumer of oil in the United States is the    Department of Defense."

To win votes, Stevens wants to direct a portion of the ANWR oil leasing payments and future oil royalties to coastal states ravaged by this year's hurricanes.

If Congress opened ANWR to drilling, the refuge's oil would not flow into the market for 10 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Once the refuge reached peak production in 2025, it would trim U.S. oil imports to about 58 percent of demand or the same percentage as current imports.
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Deepest well in Gulf of Mexico finds oil...


Total depth 10420m, 183m oil payzone found.....


The deepest well in Aust was around 4300-4500m in comparison...




Chevron Announces Discovery in the Deepest Well Drilled in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Tuesday December 20, 7:00 am ET
Total Depth Is More Than 34,000 Feet

SAN RAMON, Calif., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX - News) today announced a significant new deepwater oil discovery, and the deepest well ever drilled in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, at the Knotty Head Prospect located in Green Canyon block 512. The block is approximately 170 miles southeast of New Orleans.

The Knotty Head No. 1 discovery well is in approximately 3,500 feet of water and was drilled to a total depth of 34,189 feet (measured depth). The well encountered approximately 600 feet of net pay oil sand. Further drilling is planned to determine the extent of the discovery.....

.....Chevron owns a 25 percent interest in Green Canyon block 512. Other owners include Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexen Inc., (25 percent), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (25 percent), and BHP Billiton (25 percent). Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc. is the operator.....
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In reply to: apache123 on Wednesday 21/12/05 12:59pm

On the other hand, NYMEX are saying delivery prices are


Dec 2006 $61.32


Dec 2007 $60.81


Dec 2008 $59.16


Dec 2009 $57.66



OK, December figures tend to be higher due to winter heating oil demand, but it's still a bit of a difference ...


Ian Whitchurch

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More on that monster well in GoM....




Well done: BHP drills down 10km
Robin Bromby
December 22, 2005

BHP Billiton looks set to enhance its already enviable Gulf of Mexico portfolio after a spectacular drilling feat in which a well hit 150m of oil sands about 10km beneath the ocean floor.

The drill hole at Knotty Head, which began on the sea floor under 1.06km of water, went through 10.36km of rock.

Knotty Head is believed to be the deepest hydrocarbon discovery in the Gulf.

Yesterday analysts estimated the size of the field at between 300 million and 600 million barrels.

BHP, which owns 25 per cent of the project, saw its shares rise 40c to $22.50 on the news.

The other partners are ChevronTexaco, the operator of this successful well, Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Nexen Petroleum.

This discovery is particularly significant as it lies just north of Chevron's giant Tahiti find.

Construction of a floating production platform began at Tahiti last month and Chevron, along with partners Statoil and Shell, expects to produce 125,000 barrels of oil and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.

Tahiti lies under 1.2km of ocean water and is believed to contain up to 500 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, a term that covers the volume of oil and gas. That discovery was made in 2002 and the Tahiti partners are spending $US1.8 billion ($2.47 billion) on development.

Last year Knotty Head drew some of the largest bids in one of the Gulf of Mexico lease sales.

BHP energy group president Philip Aiken described the Knotty Head find as "a very encouraging result". He said the partners would soon decide on the next step, which could include drilling a sidetrack from the hole to try to determine how wide the oil sands were.

The well is 273.5km southeast of New Orleans. BHP has interests in 450 lease blocks in the gulf. Its assets include Mad Dog, which began production earlier this year, and the Atlantis and Neptune fields now in development. It has discoveries at Cascade, Chinook and Shenzi under appraisal at present.

But BHP suffered a blow this year when the Typhoon oil and gas platform in the gulf was torn from its moorings by Hurricane Rita. BHP, along with 50-50 joint venture partner Chevron, has not yet made a decision on the fate of the platform.
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In reply to: apache123 on Thursday 22/12/05 08:01am



The NYMEX numbers arent crysla ball gazing : they are what you need to pay if you want a barrel of oil for delivery on those dates - 20% down, rest on delivery.


They are also roughly what you can hedge at, minus some commissions and such.


Ian Whitchurch

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In reply to: Smartman_plc on Tuesday 20/12/05 07:18pm

The moose and porcupines must be celebrating after this decision....




US Senate Rejects Oil Drilling in Alaska Wildlife Refuge
By VOA News
21 December 2005

The U.S. Senate has narrowly rejected a measure to allow oil exploration in the Alaskan wildlife refuge - effectively tying up the nearly $450 billion defense budget.....
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In reply to: apache123 on Thursday 22/12/05 10:19am

F!ck ANWR.


Drill Florida first - you've got a sporting chance at getting the gas into the system within 3 years.


The concentration on ANWR is about the American Right getting a club to hit Greens with. Alaska isnt as good as advertised - remember Mukluk, and the North Slope never found a second field to replace Prudhoe Bay.


Ian Whitchurch

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