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Oil and gas representatives talk Cook Inlet production

Posted: August 25, 2011 - 7:00am  |  Updated: August 25, 2011 - 1:12pm

Alaska Oil and Gas Association members gave an update on Cook Inlet oil and gas production at Wednesday’s joint Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce lunch in Soldotna.

Wade Hutchings, who recently moved to the Kenai Peninsula to take a job as Marathon’s new asset manager, talked about that company’s recent work.

Hutchings said the Marathon has done work on one well at its Ninilchik Unit, and is recompleting another well. The company is also going through seismic data again.

Marathon’s primary focus is maintaining production, he said.

James Tangaro is another newcomer to the Kenai Peninsula. He runs Tesoro’s Kenai Refinery, which is not so new.

“It’s been a big part of the Peninsula for a long time,” he said.

Tesoro’s primary product is jet fuel, which goes to the Anchorage airport.

Like Marathon, he said Tesoro works hard to maintain its output. The company has seen oil output from the Cook Inlet peak and decline over the years.

“We pretty much keep track of it on a daily basis because we buy it all,” Tangaro said.

Representatives also talked about the role the oil and gas industry plays in creating local jobs.

The association’s executive director, Marilyn Crockett, said the industry includes four of the top 10 private sector employers in the borough.

Tesoro alone employs 200 people at the refinery, Tangaro said.

“These are good jobs,” he said.

AOGA’s full study of the impact of the oil and gas industry will be available in October, Crockett said. But the preliminary numbers show that the industry accounted for 4,700 jobs in the borough, and paid about $320 million in 2010.

The meeting also included a brief presentation from ConocoPhillips. On behalf of that oil and gas company, Peter Micciche and Portia Babcock presented the Kenai Watershed Forum with an award.

Micciche praised the forum’s work in protecting the Kenai’s watershed.

“They have an uncanny knack of bringing some very diverse groups together,” Micciche said.

The forum was given $25,000 to recognize its work in putting together a summer camp. The award was one of ConocoPhillips’ Spirit of Conservation awards, which are given based on environmentally-related criteria. Organizations from around the state applied for the award, Micciche said.

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