ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. has permitting into state agencies for three more winter exploration prospects, although they would not necessarily be drilled this winter: the company has asked for permits which would run from this December through the end of May 2007.
The three prospects include Titania on Kuukpik Corp. lands some five miles east-southeast of Nuiqsut — across the Colville River — and south of the Colville River unit boundary.
The other two prospects, Oberon and Placer, are on state land. Oberon is west of the Kuparuk River unit, north of the SE Delta exploration unit. Placer is on land newly added to the Kuparuk River unit, southwest of drill site 3S where the Palm discovery is being developed.
All would be drilled from ice pads. The Titania No. 1 ice pad would be connected by a short section of ice road, 2.7 miles, to the general ice road between Kuparuk and Alpine.
The Titania surface is owned by Kuukpik Corp., the Nuiqsut village corporation, and the subsurface ownership is shared by the state and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. This is an area proposed for inclusion in an expansion of the Colville River unit, location of the Alpine field.
If drilled this winter, ice road construction would start as early as tundra travel allowed in December and drilling would begin at the end of January and complete in mid-February with possible testing to follow through early March.
ConocoPhillips is also permitting three Oberon wells and three Placer wells from ice pads.
Access to Oberon No. 1 would be from the Kuparuk-Alpine ice road; access to Oberon No. 2 and No. 3 and Placer would be from either an ice road beginning at Kuparuk drill site 3-S or by ice road beginning on the north side of the Alpine pipeline right of way. In either case, the company said, total ice roads for a maximum of four drilling locations this year would be 18 miles.
If the wells are drilled this year, ice road construction would be done in December and January; either the Oberon No. 1 or Oberon No. 3 would be drilled in February and tested through early March; and the Placer No. 1 or Oberon No. 2 drilled in March and tested in April.