The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas told Petroleum News Sept. 12 that Anadarko Petroleum has submitted a plan of operations to drill two wells in the undeveloped Gubik gas field in the Brooks Range Foothills. That confirms Petroleum News’ earlier prediction that Anadarko plans to drill the first commercial gas well in northern Alaska this coming winter.
Anadarko and its Foothills partners BG and Petro-Canada hold approximately 2.2 million acres between the Canning and Colville rivers along the southern boundary of the North Slope. The Gubik field is near Umiat just outside the eastern margin of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The leases sit primarily on land owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corp. A few leases are on state land, most of them purchased in recent lease sales by Anadarko and included in the Foothills partnership.
Anadarko and its partners have ordered a new lightweight drilling rig, the Nabors rig 105, for the Foothills drilling program. The rig is under construction in Canada and is scheduled for delivery to the North Slope in December. Rig 105 is designed to be broken down into modules for transportation by rolligon, Mark Hanley, Anadarko’s top official in Alaska, told Petroleum News earlier this year.
Although there is a known oil field at Umiat, the Foothills area is generally considered to be more favorable for the discovery of natural gas. According to the U.S. Geological Survey the Gubik field holds approximately 600 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas, and was discovered by the U.S. Navy more than 50 years ago while exploring for oil in the petroleum reserve.
Note: See full story in the Sept. 16 issue of Petroleum News tomorrow at noon Alaska time (www.PetroleumNews.com).