August 17, 2007 --- Vol. 13, No. 74August 2007

Rowan rig preparing to drill at Cosmopolitan

Rowan Rig 68 has arrived at Pioneer Natural Resources’ Cosmopolitan drilling site on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and is preparing for drilling, Tadd Owens, director of government and public affairs for Pioneer in Alaska, told Petroleum News on Aug. 16.

“It’s currently being rigged up on-site at Cosmopolitan,” Owens said.

Cosmopolitan, which is approximately two miles offshore, near Anchor Point on the lower Kenai Peninsula, includes state and federal leases totaling some 25,000 acres. The prospect has resource potential of 30 million to 100 million barrels of oil, Sheffield told an audience at the South Central Alaska Energy Forum in September 2006.

The known oil accumulation was discovered by Pennzoil in 1967 in the 12,112-foot vertical, Starichkof State No. 1, drilled from a jack-up rig. The more recent appraisal of the prospect has involved directional drilling from shore — in 2003 ConocoPhillips and the other owners at that time drilled a long-reach appraisal well and a sidetrack, the Hansen No. 1 and Hansen No. 1A wells.

It appears from Pioneer’s plan of exploration and a drilling permit issued by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that Pioneer will use the Rowan rig to drill a sidetrack well Hansen 1A L1.

BP to suspend Badami production to recharge reservoir

BP plans to suspend oil production from its North Slope Badami unit sometime this fall to allow the reservoir to recharge.

In an annual update of its sixth plan of development for the unit, BP told the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas that the “off production period” from the complex Brookian reservoir would likely begin in September and continue for six months. A cycling operation of six months on and six months off was contemplated in the sixth POD, so the move does not come as a surprise to state officials. Previous work in the unit, which is 35 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, showed that “reservoir pressure slowly re-charges during periods of no off-take” in the highly compartmented reservoir.

BP put Badami in a warm shutdown for two years from 2003 to 2005, after production dropped to 1,350 barrels per day. When the unit was restarted in September 2005 production came up to 2,000 bpd. Average daily production since then has been 1,100 barrels per day, BP said.

During the upcoming shut-in period BP said it would be taking pressure measurements in producing wells in order to monitor reservoir pressure recharge.

“The rate of reservoir recharge will be a key factor in determining the merit and timing of field restart,” the company said. If it turns out to be “significantly longer” than six months, BP said it will file for a suspension of production with the state.

When Badami first came online in August 1998 the company expected production to level out at 30,000 to 35,000 bpd by early 1999. That never happened. By October 1998 production was less than 5,000 bpd and continuing to decline. The company has shut the field in several times since then. Each time Badami has come back online its output has been higher, but it has never reached even a fourth of its initial production target at its highest output, and production overall has continued to decline since startup.

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