General Interest news briefs, Feb. 15

Nabors Drilling USA Inc. said its Rig 39 was destroyed Wednesday. After Nabors turned over a turnkey well in Wayne County, Miss., to its owner, sour gas began escaping. The unnamed owner of the well lit it on fire to minimize environmental damage, said a Nabors spokesman. No one was hurt.

Japan and Kuwait are expected to open negotiations as early as this spring on extending the Arabian Oil Co.'s drilling rights in the Kuwait-controlled portion of Khafji oil field, in the Neutral Zone, according to a report in the Japan Times. It said renewal of the contract was crucial to the Japanese-owned Arabian Oil Co., which had already lost its rights in the Saudi Arabian-controlled side of the same field.

A subsidiary of AES Corp., a global power generation, distribution, and retail supply company, closed a deal to purchase from BP 100 MMcfd of liquefied natural gas for 20 years for its Dominican Republic power projects. The arrangement, said a BP statement, gives BP the flexibility to supply LNG with varying quality specifications, enabling it to satisfy customer needs on a spot basis." The AES LNG receiving terminal is planned to be in operation year-end 2002, and first deliveries are scheduled for that time.

The Minerals Management Service announced a sixth royalty-in-kind crude oil sale, to be held with the state of Wyoming. It will offer 5,100 b/d of royalty-in-kind crude from both state and federal properties in the Bighorn and Powder River basins of Wyoming. Oil can be taken for a 6-month period beginning Apr. 1.

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