Oil Search said today, May 23, that it has received the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit and Record of Decision, or ROD, for the Pikka development project on Alaska's North Slope.
A critical next step to advancing the proposed development, the ROD includes Oil Search's recommended changes reflecting feedback from permitting agencies and key stakeholders.
The permit approves a development scope that includes the following:
Up to three drill sites for the production and injection wells.
A central processing facility.
An operations center with a 200-bed camp plus office, warehouse and maintenance facilities.
Approximately 25 miles of roads.
Approximately 35 miles of pipelines.
"The Record of Decision is a key milestone for the Pikka Development Project. Combined with the positive initial results of the recent drilling program, the ROD will allow us to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase of the project, which is targeted for the third quarter of 2019," Peter Botten, Oil Search's managing director, said in a written statement.
"A thorough analysis is underway on the data collected from our successful 2018/19 appraisal program. As previously announced the early results reinforce our expectations of a likely material upgrade in contingent oil resources and that the development will, at a minimum, meet the company's development plan assumptions of delivering 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Evaluation of opportunities to optimize the development, including potential facilities sharing, remain ongoing and will drive final project decisions and ensure the delivery of the strongest possible development," he said.
Planning and permitting is underway for the 2019-20 winter drilling season, Botten said: "We anticipate undertaking exploration and appraisal activities as well as the start of gravel installation for roads and pads."
Key project changes adopted at the request of the nearby Nuiqsut community to reduce the surface footprint of the project and better preserve their traditional subsistence hunting and fishing areas, included the following amendments:
Updated road alignment and bridge location.
Relocation of the proposed process facility, the operations center and one drill site.
The addition of three tundra access ramps to the gravel road.
The addition of a boat ramp on the lower Kachemach River, to allow local community members to launch and retrieve boats.
- KAY CASHMAN
See story in June 2 issue of Petroleum News, available online May 24 at www.PetroleumNews.com
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