Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
January 2018

Vol. 23, No. 3 Week of January 21, 2018

Brooks Range reports Mustang flow test

North Tarn well produced 24 API oil from Kuparuk C reservoir at 1,292 barrels per day; reserves of 33 million barrels estimated

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. has announced that a test in November of its North Tarn No. 1A well in the Southern Miluveach unit on the North Slope demonstrated an average peak flow rate of 1,292 barrels of 24 API oil per day, with only trace amounts of water. The oil came from the Kuparuk C formation, one of the reservoir rocks in the adjacent Kuparuk River field. Independent engineering firm DeGolyer and MacNaughton has estimated that the unit has 2P reserves of 33 million barrels of oil, the company said. This class of reserves consists of both proven and probable oil that can be viably produced.

Brooks Range has been developing the unit and has already built the Mustang production pad and associated pipeline supports. The company has also had some production modules fabricated. However, technical complications with the development drilling followed by financial issues, triggered by the low oil price, have hindered progress and caused delays in completing the work.

Company CEO Bert Armfield expressed optimism in the light of the new test results.

“This recent success is very encouraging and highlights the dedicated and persistent support invested by the working interest owners, state agencies and the contracting community,” Armfield said. “These results confirm we are on the right track with our development plans.”

Drilled in 2011

The North Tarn No. 1 well, drilled in April 2011 to a depth of 6,197 feet, is located on the Mustang pad. As previously reported in Petroleum News, Brooks Range conducted its testing of the well using fracture stimulation and an associated flow test. The idea was to obtain certification of the well as capable of production in paying quantities, thus enabling preservation of the unit beyond the end of 2017, when the leases in the unit reached the ends of their primary terms.

In evaluating the tests and agreeing to the certification, Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas commented that, while having a relatively high gas-to-oil ratio, the well exhibited a high flow capacity. The division has also approved a fifth plan of development for the unit.

Brooks Range commented that the flow test results confirmed assumptions about the reservoir characteristics and supported parameters used for the production facility design. The company said that, as a result, development of the oil field should accelerate, with the next phase of the development involving the installation of the processing facilities and the drilling of up to 18 horizontal production and development wells.

Development plan

The Mustang pad is located close to the Alpine oil pipeline: The development plan for the field involves connecting an export pipeline from the field to the Alpine line. The newly approved plan of development involves the completion of on-pad piles in the first quarter of this year; installing Canada-built modules by the end of September; and installing Alaska-built modules and connecting pipelines into the Alpine system by the end of 2018. Brooks Range’s plan also envisages development drilling restarting at the beginning of August. The plan would lead to first oil from the field in the first quarter of 2019.

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