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NPRA Q&A-3 HIGH-OCTANE GASOLINE REQUIRES HIGH-QUALITY ALKYLATE

Steady demand for high-octane gasoline requires a good supply of high-quality alkylate, an important high octane gasoline blendstock. Maintaining high-quality alkylate requires close attention to the process and operating conditions of both sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation units. Particular attention must be paid to the types of feeds, and the contaminants in them, to maintain alkylate-quality specifications.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS MUSHROOM IN GULF

Gulf of Mexico area operators are setting a brisk pace in exploration and development. In the most expensive operation, Exxon Co. U.S.A. has decided to proceed with two significant ultradeep water gas development projects. Its plans involve: Mississippi Canyon Block 354, to be developed with a multiwell subsea system set in 1,500 ft of water. The project, known as Zinc, has been on the shelf since 1986 due to low prices and poor markets (OGJ, May 30, 1988, p. 32).

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

THAILAND AND MALAYSIA signed a draft agreement covering joint oil and gas exploration and development of overlapping territorial claims in the Gulf of Thailand. The agreement, to be ratified by parliaments in both countries, calls for production from the area to be shared equally based on a modified production sharing system drafted from the Thai concession system and the Malaysian production sharing contract.

JOINT VENTURE SPURT AMAZES SOVIETS

The presence of Soviet-foreign joint enterprises operating in the Soviet Union is beginning to be felt in the Soviet market, although in a very small way. About 1,300 joint ventures were registered with the Ministry of Finance through last February. Nearly 1,000 of them are said to have been formed during 1989. According to State Statistical Committee data, 250 joint enterprises began to operate during the first 9 months of 1989. Of that, 184 produced goods valued at about 500 million rubles

WATCHING THE WORLD FRONTIER PLAYS

With Roger Vielvoye from London High risk frontier drilling looks well on the way to complete recovery from the lack of incentive and money that followed the crude oil price collapse of 1986. An indicator of the health of this part of the exploration business came from two very different directions in London.

EXPLORATION COSTA RICA GEOLOGIC BASINS LURE WILDCATTERS

Cynthia A. Sheehan, Glen T. Penfield Aero Service Division Western Atlas International Inc. Houston Emilia Morales Recope S.A. San Jose, Costa Rica

GULF CANADA AND HOME OIL AGREE TO MERGE

Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. and Home Oil Ltd., both of Calgary, have agreed to merge in a $492 million deal. Gulf will buy a 22.8% interest in Interhome Energy Inc., Home's parent, from Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto. Gulf and Home will then merge. Interhome also owns Interprovincial Pipe Lines Ltd., Edmonton, which operates a major crude oil pipeline from Alberta to Central Canada. The merger will create a firm that will be third in crude oil production and fifth in natural gas production in

OGJ NEWSLETTER

OPEC's decision to call an emergency meeting of its ministerial monitoring committee May 2 relieved the downward pressure on world crude prices. North Sea Brent blend for June delivery rebounded to $17.50/bbl Apr. 25 from $16.20/bbl a week earlier. WTI futures for June delivery closed at $18.66/bbl, up $1.70 on the week. All 13 ministers will attend the May 2 meeting in Geneva. As a result, the midyear ministerial meeting has been postponed to June 25 from May 25.

U.S. BRIEFS

PEDRICKTOWN COGENERATION LP secured $110 million financing for a 117,000 kw cogeneration plant to be built in Pedricktown, N.J. The project, to be completed in early 1992, will be managed by Cogeneration Partners of America, Cherry Hill, N.J. BROWN & ROOT INTERNATIONAL INC. rescinded planned sale of marine construction assets to Offshore Pipelines Inc. Brown & Root had agreed to sell 23 derrick, pipelay, and other vessels plus interests in land based support units in the Far East, Middle East,

TIGHT FIT PREDICTED IN LONG TERM WORLD TANKER SUPPLY/DEMAND

Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG), New York, predicts long term growth in tanker demand will outstrip newbuilding. With current orderbooks full, OSG's 1989 annual report projects delivery delays of as much as 3 years on orders for new tankers. "In this environment," it says, "trading conditions for modern, efficient tankers should improve over the next few years." Considering the large tanker surpluses of the mid-1970s, soft freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), and

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

LASMO PLC and Phillips Petroleum Co. U.K. agreed to exchange certain U.K. North Sea assets. Lasmo will acquire Phillips' 35% working interest in the portion of Block 16/27A containing Andrew field. Phillips will receive Lasmo's 3.195% interest in Blocks 30/7A, 30/12A, and 30/17A, hiking its working interest in the blocks to 35.875%. Block 307A contains Joanne and Judy oil and gas fields, now under development study.

MORE RESTRUCTURING UNDER WAY IN CANADA

Restructuring is still very much a way of life in the Canadian industry. Among the latest action: Shell Canada Ltd. will sell some service stations and lay off an undisclosed number of personnel as part of a rationalization of downstream operations. Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. will review nonproducing and underproducing assets as part of a restructuring program. BP Canada Inc. plans to sell leases involving about 15% of its gas reserves and 10% of its crude oil and gas liquids reserves.

NORTH SEA ESV PROGRAM IS FOCUS OF SUMMER WEATHER WINDOW

Warren R. True Pipeline/Gas Processing Editor Roger Vielvoye International Editor A major effort to improve the protection of workers and facilities in the North Sea will step into full swing this summer when many operators will install new or relocate existing emergency shutdown valves (ESV's). A Norwegian-sector installation is noteworthy because of its depth and the use of a check valve as an ESV. Most of the activity will occur in the U.K. sector and is prompted by findings after the

U.S. BRIEFS

UNION OIL CO., Los Angeles, agreed to purchase 100% of Prairie Holding Co., Houston, an oil and gas subsidiary of Placer Dome Inc. Union will pay $252 million cash and assume $84 million in debt. TEXAS SUPREME COURT ruled an appeal by Arabian Shield Development Co., Dallas, in a $1 billion lawsuit against Hunt Oil Co., was timely filed. It remanded the case, involving a dispute over rights to productive acreage in North Yemen, to the Texas Court of Appeals.

SHELL SLATES EXPLORATION ON NORTHWEST KENYA BLOCK

Shell Exploration BV has taken a farmout from Amoco Kenya Petroleum Co. on a 42,250 sq km block in Northwest Kenya. Shell will earn a 50% interest in Block 10 by conducting a 500 km seismic survey starting in August and drilling two wildcats in 1990-91. The region, on Lake Turkana and surrounding the lake on three sides, has not been explored for oil and gas. Shell and British Petroleum Co. plc pioneered onshore and offshore exploration in Kenya in the 1950s but withdrew because of lack of

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IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LANDS

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