The Aurora field, a satellite accumulation near the Prudhoe Bay field, has started commercial production at an initial rate of 7,000 barrels of oil per day from three wells. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. said Feb. 23 that production is expected to increase to a peak rate of 15,000 to 20,000 barrels per day as field development continues.
The field, which contains an estimated 30 to 45 million barrels of recoverable oil in the Kuparuk sand, is owned by BP (26.7 percent), ExxonMobil (36.8 percent), Phillips Alaska Inc. (36.5 percent) and Forest Oil Corp. (0.02 percent).
BP, Prudhoe Bay field operator, will operate the field on behalf of the Aurora owners.
BP said development is from the existing Prudhoe Bay S Pad location using directional drilling technology to minimize the surface footprint. Aurora is one of the first fields on production in Alaska to use horizontal wells for initial development. The first well, S-100, initially tested at 7,500 bopd and 700 scf/bbl gas oil ratio. Production wells are expected to produce at sustained rates averaging 2,000 bopd.
The field development plan anticipates completion of 15 to 20 production and injection wells with waterflood operations planned.
The Aurora field was discovered in February 1999 by ExxonMobil and Phillips Alaska.