Monday afternoon at about 4:20 p.m. oil began flowing from the Badami field.
Field operator BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. called Badami “the first in a new generation of fields that will play a key role in reversing a decade of declining oil production on the North Slope.”
Badami, on the coast of the Beaufort Sea at Mikkelsen Bay some 35 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, is the first new stand-alone field on the North Slope in more than a decade.
The field contains an estimated 120 million barrels of recoverable oil and is the ninth largest among 14 North Slope fields currently producing oil or planned for development. Production is expected to peak at about 30,000 barrels a day.
“Badami and other new fields like Northstar and Liberty are an important component of BP’s plans to invest at least $700 million a year in Alaska into the future,” said BP Exploration (Alaska) President Richard Campbell in a statement.
Development drilling at Badami is expected to last through 2000.
Original oil in place is estimated at 500 million barrels, with 120 million barrels currently projected as recoverable. The reservoir is a complex sandstone formation at a depth of approximately 10,000 feet. The oil zone is estimated to be as much as 150 feet thick, with oil gravity varying from 19 degrees American Petroleum Institute to 29 degrees API. Two thirds of the oil is offshore — all is being produced from a single onshore gravel pad using extended reach drilling.
BP operates Badami and holds a 70 percent interest in the field; Petrofina S.A. of Belgium owns the remaining 30 percent, which is managed by Petrofina Delaware Inc., its U.S. affiliate.
Oil from Badami is processed on site and transported by pipeline to the Endicott oil pipeline, which carries it to pump station No. 1 of the trans-Alaska pipeline. The 26 mile long 12 inch pipeline is buried at three river crossings and elevated elsewhere.