Pioneer Natural Resources Co. said today that drilling operations are concluding on its initial exploration prospect in Alaska, offshore the Kuparuk field.
The company said three wells were drilled on the Northwest Kuparuk prospect to test a possible extension of the productive sands in the Kuparuk River field into the shallow waters offshore.
"Although all three of the wells found the sands filled with oil, they were too thin to be considered commercial," the company said.
The wells also encountered thick sections of oil-bearing Jurassic-aged sands that are currently being tested. The first well flowed at a sustained rate of approximately 1,300 barrels per day and will be shut in for a pressure build-up test.
Pioneer said results will be evaluated to determine the commercial viability of the Jurassic reservoir.
Operator Pioneer and partner Armstrong Oil and Gas are exploring 10 leases at Northwest Kuparuk, in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea between Thetis Island and the Kuparuk River unit.
The three wells, the Ivik 1, Oooguruk 1 and Natchiq 1, were drilled from ice islands.