ConocoPhillips Alaska has applied to the state to form the Cronus exploration unit immediately west of Meltwater on Alaska’s North Slope. Meltwater is a non-continuous portion of the Kuparuk River unit, southwest of Tabasco in the main Greater Kuparuk Area.
In exchange for formation of the two-lease unit, ConocoPhillips would drill a well this winter season at the prospect. One of the leases was acquired in the state’s sale 87 and expires Oct. 31. The other was acquired in the state’s 1999 areawide North Slope lease sale and expires June 30.
The company’s initial plan of exploration calls for an initial test well within the boundaries of the proposed Cronus unit by June 1, 2006. It would be a vertical well on state oil and gas lease ADL 389161, in township 8 north range 6 east, Umiat Meridian, and would be drilled to depths sufficient to penetrate the Albian Torok sand interval correlative to that found in the Nanuk No. 1 well between 6,140 feet to 6,300 feet measured depth, or 6,100 feet to 6,300 feet subsea true vertical depth, which is lesser. The Nanuk well was drilled in section 19, T11N-R5E, UM.
If the well is not drilled, the unit would terminate and leases beyond their term would expire.
A participating area would be required within five years of approval of the Cronus unit.
ConocoPhillips filed to drill a well at Cronus in 2002, reactivating a 2001 permit application. That well was proposed for section 4 of T8N-R6E, UM. Cronus was one of a group of exploration prospects ConocoPhillips was looking at west of Kuparuk early in the decade.
Editor’s note: see story in Aug. 28 issue of Petroleum News.