Major Alaskan Discoveries Promote Great Expectations

Topics: Reservoir characterization
Source: Caelus Energy.
A Caelus Energy drilling pad in Smith Bay where the company made the largest of three recent discoveries in the North Slope of Alaska.

The Pikka Field discovered by Armstrong Oil & Gas is just 2 to 3 miles wide, about 30 miles long, could produce 1.2 billion barrels of oil, and is one of three major finds that have shattered assumptions about what is possible in the most explored parts of Alaska’s North Slope.

“The Armstrong discovery, and especially the size of that discovery, was stunning to everyone,” said David Houseknecht, a geologist for the US Geological Survey who has done multiple assessments of the potential in the area. “The thinking was the biggest oil pool we could imagine had 200 to 250 million barrels of recoverable oil. These discoveries coming in with more than a billion barrels or 300 million barrels, at least, really change things by an order of magnitude.”

The find by Armstrong in March may not be the biggest of the three. A discovery by Caelus Energy in Smith Bay called Tulimaniq could produce twice as much oil though the development challenges are also much greater. And ConocoPhillips’ Willow discovery could ultimately produce from 3.3 to 3.9 billion, and add more than 400,000 B/D of production in the next decade.

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Major Alaskan Discoveries Promote Great Expectations

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

21 April 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 6