In a May 3 announcement of its first quarter earnings, Pioneer Natural Resources said it had participated in two wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska this winter that were “non-commercial.”
The company was referring to the ConocoPhillips-operated Noatak and Intrepid wildcats, the only two wells Pioneer was involved in during the northern Alaska winter drilling season that just ended.
Other than confirming that these two wells were drilled in partnership with Pioneer, Petroleum News has not yet been able to find out if Conoco’s other NPR-A partner, Anadarko Petroleum, was also involved.
Last fall, ConocoPhillips Alaska President Jim Bowles said Noatak probably did “not (have) large reserve potential, but if the well is successful the resource could be tied back to Kuparuk or Alpine “or maybe even Greater Moose’s Tooth if that’s developed at some future date.”
Noatak is south of Teshekpuk Lake; Moose’s Tooth is between Noatak and Alpine, in the area 15-25 miles southwest of Alpine where the company announced discoveries in 2001 at Spark 1 and 1A, Moose’s Tooth C, Lookout 1 and Rendezvous A and 2. All the wells targeted the Alpine producing zone.
The Intrepid well is south of Barrow, more than 200 miles from Alpine, which is the closest infrastructure to the remote prospect. Although the main target was oil, Intrepid is south of the gas field that serves Barrow.
Bowles said the company would need to find large reserves for the Intrepid prospect to be deemed commercial because of its distance from infrastructure.