Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2000

Chugach Electric Association receives $1 million

Chugach Electric Association has received nearly $1.1 million in federal funds to help pay for winter storm and avalanche damage. Utility officials expect to receive another $128,000 once final inspections are complete.

Storms in January and February caused power outages from the Anchorage Hillside to Cooper Landing. Avalanches downed more than a mile of the utility's 115-volt transmission line near Lower Summit Lake. It took weeks to repair the damage.

Cross Timbers reports second-quarter results

Cross Timbers Oil Co. reported second-quarter profits of $1.96 million, down from $43.6 million in the second quarter of 1999.

Total revenues for the quarter were $121.7 million, up 86 percent from the second quarter of 1999. Operating income was nearly $46.5 million, up from almost $10.8 million in the 1999 quarter. However, Cross Timbers reported a nonoperating loss of $44.4 million, down from nonoperating income of $32.8 million in the second quarter of 1999. Cross Timbers reported second-quarter cash flow from operations of $57.7 million before changes in operating assets and liabilities and exploration expense. That is up 190 percent from the second quarter of 1999.

Earnings available to common stock for the quarter were $800,000 after a $15.7 million after-tax loss in the fair value of certain derivatives related to hedging and a $200,000 after-tax gain on investment in equity securities. In the second quarter of 1999, the company reported a loss of $2.1 million available to common stock before gains on the Hugoton Royalty Trust offering and equity securities.

"The second quarter met all of our expectations, as the acquisition of about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves during the past three years continues to pay big dividends," said Bob R. Simpson, chairman and chief executive."For the rest of this year, we expect continued growth in natural gas production, dramatically higher earnings and cash flow, substantial debt reduction and further increases in our stock price."

Land's End Resort hires Fairbanks chef

Evan Vogl is the new sous chef for Land's End Resort in Homer. Vogl perfected his culinary skills in Colorado resort towns and worked most recently at the Chena Pump House in Fairbanks. Vogl will add his own twist to the resort's traditional menu. Expect to see more game and exotic dishes.

Land's End also has opened a new three-story hotel wing with 21 rooms facing Kachemak Bay. The new rooms have private decks and massive log bed frames made from locally milled beetle-killed spruce trees.

Bohai Bay wells strike oil

Phillips Petroleum Co. has approved spending for the first development phase of the Peng Lai (PL) 19-3 field in China's Bohai Bay. Phillips also has made two new oil discoveries in the area, bringing the total to six.

"With six discoveries and several large additional prospects identified, we're extremely optimistic about the potential of this block," said Bill Berry, vice president of the Eurasia division of exploration and production. He hoped for gross production of 35,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil per day by the first quarter of 2002.

"In order to fully integrate the knowledge gained from the reservoir performance in Phase I, we plan to start production from Phase II in late 2004 or 2005," he said. "We are quite pleased with the results to date from this block and fully expect it to become one of our key production areas."

Commercialization studies of these discoveries will be jointly initiated with China National Offshore Oil Corp. Phillips has a 100 percent undivided working interest in the 2.3 million-acre block. CNOOC has the right to acquire up to a 51 percent interest in any development in the block.

FNBA appoints new director to its board

First National Bank of Anchorage has named George E. Gordon, president and chief executive of Utility Services of Alaska Inc. in Fairbanks, to its board of directors. Gordon was president of College Utilities Corp. for 30 years and recently was named Business Leader of the Year by the Associated Students of Business at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management.

Homer chamber plans mixer

The Homer Chamber of Commerce holds a mixer Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pratt Museum on Bartlett Street. See a demonstration of the McNeil River remote video cameras and watch the brown bears live. Refreshments will be served. Chamber mixers are open to members and to business owners and people interested in becoming members. For information, call the chamber at 235-7740.

Alaska students study oil industry

A $9,600 grant from Unocal Alaska Resources and Ocean Energy Inc. brought an instructor from the Colorado School of Mines to Alaska's Houston High School last month.

The class consisted of four days of earth science instruction culminating with a game of Gushers and Dusters.

The game, developed by the Colorado School of Mines, teaches students the economics of the oil industry and the relationship between oil companies, banks and drilling contractors. Students formed mock oil, drilling and banking companies and negotiated deals. The game ended with the instructor revealing data from the leases student companies purchased.

"We've used geology to interpret the seismic data and discussed the role of drilling contractors and banks in the industry," said instructor Alan Swanson.

AHFC picks underwriters

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. recently picked an underwriting group to issue $93 million in bonds for the state to finance school construction.

The Legislature passed a bill this year authorizing AHFC to buy 40 percent of the state's right to receive payments from the settlement of the state's lawsuit against Philip Morris Inc. and others. The bill authorized AHFC to issue bonds to finance $93 million in school construction projects by securitizing the tobacco litigation settlement proceeds.

AHFC departed from its preapproved list of qualified underwriting firms and issued a request for proposals. That drew 12 responses. AHFC selected Bear Stearns as the senior managing underwriter, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter as co-senior managing underwriter and Lehman Brothers and Salomon Smith Barney as co-managers.

The bill also authorized AHFC to issue $77 million in AHFC general obligation debt for state capital projects and extended AHFC's Series Transfer Plan from 2006 to 2009. Under the transfer plan, which began in 1995, AHFC contributes more than $100 million per year to state revenues through cash transfers, capital projects and debt-service payments.

Federal grants train high-tech workers

The U.S. Department of Labor has given the municipality of Anchorage a $2.4 million grant to train 300 workers for jobs in telecommunications and computer technology jobs in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna areas.

The program, with $29.2 million in grants nationwide, is funded with fees employers pay for visas to import temporary workers from other countries.

"With this second round of demonstration grants, we have committed more than $41 million for training under the H-1B initiative," said Raymond Bramucci, assistant secretary of labor. "We are not done yet. During the next few weeks, we will be announcing another competition for approximately $40 million in a third round of H-1B grants."

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