ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. received drilling permits last week from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for two winter exploration wells: Puviaq No. 1 in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and Oberon No. 1 in the southern expansion area of the Colville River unit.
The 1 Oberon will be in section 9 of township 10 north, range 6 east, Umiat Meridian. The 1 Puviaq will be in section 35, T16N, R10W, UM. The Puviaq is planned as a vertical hole 1,703 feet from the north line and 451 feet from the west line; the Oberon will be deviated from a surface location 1,193 feet from the south line and 985 feet from the east line to a proposed bottomhole 1,903 feet FSL and 1,499 feet FEL.
Puviaq is the western NPR-A prospect where ConocoPhillips stored a rig over the summer on an insulated ice pad for work this winter. The company has told regulators it may move that rig east in NPR-A after this drilling season, or may over-summer it again in the Puviaq area, depending on this winter's drilling results.
Oberon must be drilled this winter as part of the provisions of the Colville River unit expansion approved by the state in November. That agreement requires ConocoPhillips to drill a test well in the Oberon expansion area by June 1 or the 26,634-acre Oberon expansion area and the 16,259-acre Titania expansion area to the west of Oberon will both contract out of the Colville River unit.
A second test well at Oberon is required by June 1, 2004, to a bottomhole at least one mile horizontally from the bottomhole of the first well. If the second well is not drilled, the Oberon expansion area will contract out of the unit and the working interest owners will pay the landowners (the state and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp.) proportionate amounts of $340,000. Oberon must also be included in an approved participating area within five-years — i.e. in production or ready to go into production.