ConocoPhillips completes six North Slope exploration wells
ConocoPhillips has announced that it has completed six exploration and appraisal wells, one more that the five wells originally planned, on the North Slope this winter. The company drilled the three exploration wells that it had planned and drilled one more than the two appraisal wells anticipated for its Willow prospect in the northeastern National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The ability to drill the extra appraisal well resulted from improved drilling efficiencies, the company said.
The company said that all three exploration wells "represent new discoveries," and that a total of five production flow tests were conducted, with encouraging results. The Willow appraisal drilling supported a previously announced estimate of at least 300 million barrels of recoverable oil in the prospect, ConocoPhillips said.
- ALAN BAILEY
BSEE approves extension of AEX Beaufort Sea leases
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has agreed to extend the terms of Beaufort Sea leases that Arctic Slope Regional Corp. Exploration acquired from Shell in 2016. The leases, in the Camden Bay region of the Beaufort, comprise the 20-lease Taktuk unit and one additional lease. Most of the leases had been due to expire around October 2017, but AEX had requested an extension of operations, in particular because of AEX's appeal for the need for a thorough environmental analysis of proposed offshore operations.
Under the terms of the approval, AEX must report quarterly to BSEE, to demonstrate that the company is meeting required milestones in the schedule of work. The company must file an exploration plan with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2023, BSEE says.
Camden Bay straddles an area north of the boundary between state North Slope land and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Sivulliq and Torpedo oil prospects are both in the western part of the bay, approximately north of the Point Thomson field.
- ALAN BAILEY
See stories in April 22 issue of Petroleum News, available Friday, April 20 at www.petroleumnews.com