BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. said May 11 that it has acquired a 50 percent interest in the Sandpiper unit and will become unit operator under an agreement with Murphy Exploration & Production Co. and Petrofina Delaware Inc. Murphy, the previous operator, retains a 28 percent interest in Sandpiper. Fina retains a 22 percent interest. Terms were not disclosed.
Sandpiper is located in federal waters about seven miles offshore in the Beaufort Sea, northwest of the Northstar unit and of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. It was discovered and confirmed with wells drilled from a gravel island in 1985 and 1986 by Murphy and Fina.
“The plan from here out is to finish evaluating seismic that we accumulated in that area last year, meeting with partners to determine where we want to go from here and meeting with the U.S. Minerals Management Service to discuss the plan of development,” BP Exploration (Alaska) spokesman Paul Laird told PNA. The present plan calls for an exploration/delineation well to be drilled at Sandpiper by the end of 2000, he said, and any change in that plan would have to be approved by the MMS.
BP is the operator of the Northstar unit.