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Shell shuffle.

Despite recent Alaskan news reports, Shell Western E&P, based in Houston, Texas, does not plan to leave Alaska completely. Billye Lynn Ratliff, spokeswoman for Shell, says the oil company does plan to offer a bid package that could result in the sale of its producing properties around Cook Inlet.

"We expect to know if we received a suitable bid sometime next year. If we don't receive a suitable bid, then we won't leave," says Ratliff.

She explains that in the event of a sale, the approximately 50 Shell employees in Anchorage not offered jobs by the purchaser will be transferred out of state or offered severance packages. Shell's remaining operations in Alaska would be run from Houston.

Shell, the world's second largest privately owned oil company, also is suspending exploration in the Chukchi Sea for now. The firm and its partners have spent $190 million and drilled four wells in the Chukchi Sea in the last three years, but have made no discoveries.

"Leaving the Chukchi Sea and selling the producing properties are two totally different things," Ratliff says. "We still have extensive lease holdings in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and other offshore areas."

The bid package is expected to include two platforms in the Middle Ground Shoal Field in Cook Inlet off Kenai that the company has operated since the mid-1960s and Shell's one-third interest in the Beluga River gas field on the west side of Cook Inlet. Shell also is selling a .14 percent interest in Prudhoe Bay and properties in California, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Title Annotation:Shell Western E and P Corp. plans to offer a bid package that could result in the sale of its producing properties in Alaska
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Words:262
Previous Article:Marketing fund shrinks.
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