June 10, 2008 --- Vol. 14, No. 61June 2008

Pioneer starts up Oooguruk

Pioneer Natural Resources has begun production and sales from its offshore Oooguruk unit, the company announced late yesterday.

The Dallas-based company expects initial production of 2,000 to 3,000 barrels of oil per day from Oooguruk. The unit is being developed from two pools, the shallower and smaller Oooguruk-Kuparuk pool and the deeper and larger Oooguruk-Nuiqsut pool.

Oooguruk sits in the waters of the Beaufort Sea northwest of the Kuparuk River unit, operated by ConocoPhillips. Through an agreement reached between the two companies in February, Pioneer will process Oooguruk oil at the existing Kuparuk facilities.

Oooguruk will be suspended for around 45 days this summer while ConocoPhillips conducts maintenance on one of those facilities, CPF3.

Pioneer owns a 70 percent working interest in Oooguruk, with the Italian super-major Eni owning the remaining 30 percent working interest.

From the creation of the unit in July 2003 to production this summer, the company brought Oooguruk online in just less than five years. Pioneer drilled its first exploration well at what is now Oooguruk with then-partner Armstrong Oil and Gas back in 2003.

By comparison, ConocoPhillips needed six years to bring the large Alpine field online in the late 1990s.

Pioneer anticipates peak gross production of 15,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil per day in 2010 from approximately 40 development wells drilled over the next three years at Oooguruk. Over the next 25 to 30 years, Pioneer expects the unit to produce as much as 90 million gross barrels of oil.

The Dallas-based company is the first independent operator on the North Slope. This is the largest project in the company’s portfolio.

BRPC and partners pick up land near Gwydyr Bay

Looking to expand its land holdings at Gwydyr Bay, Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. recently acquired 5,120 acres of state leases on the North Slope, according to a partner in the joint venture exploring the area.

On behalf of a four-company joint venture, BRPC acquired the leases from Pioneer Natural Resources, which previously owned a 100 percent working interest in the lands.

The leases sit north of Prudhoe Bay, adjacent to a 45,598-acre block of leases already owned by the joint venture, which also includes TG World Energy, Bow Valley Alaska Corp. and the Nabors subsidiary Ramshorn Investments Inc.

For complete stories see the June 15 edition of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, June 13, at

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