February 20, 2008 / 1:12 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Exxon unveils drill plan for disputed Alaska field

(New dateline, previous LOS ANGELES, recasts, adds details, background)

JUNEAU, Alaska, Feb 19 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil, which has been facing cancellation of its lease on the giant Point Thomson gas and condensate field in Alaska, on Tuesday unveiled a new development plan that would quickly begin drilling on the field, meeting a key demand of the state.

Exxon proposed beginning delineation drilling on the field in the winter of 2008-09 in order to proceed with a multiyear $1.3 billion development program that would see initial production of 10,000 barrels per day of condensate from the field by the end of 2014.

The state of Alaska began proceedings to cancel the Point Thomson leases in December 2006, arguing Exxon and its partners had failed to put the field into production as stipulated by the leases.

    Point Thomson is believed to contain at least 11 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves and another 200 million barrels of condensates.

    Alaska officials have complained that Exxon and its partners were dragging their feet on developing the field, hindering the state’s efforts to build a gas pipeline to connect the North Slope with gas markets in the rest of the United States.

    An Alaska gas pipeline is not expected to be in service before 2018 at least.

    In addition to ExxonMobil, its fellow oil majors BP (BP.L), ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) have major ownership stakes in the field. (Reporting by Robert Campbell and Peter Henderson in Los Angeles; Editing by Gary Hill)

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