ENERGY BRIEFS

ENERGY BRIEFS

ARCO, TEXACO PLAN

ARCTIC EXPLORATIONJUNEAU, Alaska - Atlantic Richfield Co. and Texaco Inc. notified the U.S. Interior Department that they plan to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Texaco plans to drill 51 sites on 13 geological prospects, with exploration to start next year, said Robin Cacy, an official with the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service.

No cost estimate was included in either plan, she said.

Texaco has up to two wells planned for each of three years, beginning next year, she said.

The main prospect is one named Diamond, 50 miles offshore between Icy Cape and Point Barrow in the Beaufort Sea. "The other prospects . . . are scattered through the Chukchi Sea," she said.

Arco plans to drill two wells on the Fireweed prospect, about 15 miles off Cape Halkett in the Beaufort Sea, Ms. Cacy said.

ELF-GABON DISCOVERS

'GOOD QUALITY' OIL

PARIS - France's Elf-Gabon, a subsidiary of the state-controlled group Societe Nationale Elf Aquitaine, said it made a potentially significant oil discovery off the Gabonese coast.

An Elf Aquitaine official said "good quality oil" flowed at a rate of 2,830 barrels a day, but that further drilling was needed to evaluate the discovery.