Putu 2 exploration plan approved by state
In a Jan. 12 decision the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, approved ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Putu 2 exploration project unit plan of operations.
The plan includes an ice drilling pad some 2.8 miles east of Nuiqsut for the Putu 2 exploration well and sidetrack and vertical seismic profile of the well and sidetrack.
The surface is owned by Kuukpik Corp. The state said ConocoPhillips has an agreement with Kuukpik allowing it to use corporation surface lands for activities associated with the Putu 2 exploration project.
The proposed schedule called for drilling to start Jan. 15 and end March 15, using Kuukpik 5. The state said the well and sidetrack “will provide additional reservoir information for the area and reduce uncertainty around reservoir description parameters including oil-water contact, sand quality and thickness and oil viscosity.”
An ice road some 0.4 miles in length will originate at the previously permitted Alpine Resupply Road, the state said, and proceed south to the Putu 2 well location. The state said ConocoPhillips intends to begin building ice roads and pads as soon as necessary permits and approvals are received, and when tundra travel conditions are met.
Tundra travel for this option of the North Slope opened Jan. 16.
Prior exploration activities include, most recently, Armstrong Energy’s Horseshoe 1 exploration well and sidetrack drilled in 2017 some 14 miles southwest of the Putu 2 site. The state said the closest known exploration was the Tofkat 1 exploration well drilled in 2008 by Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. some 2 miles from the proposed Putu 2 site.
The Putu 2 well is in an expansion area of the Colville River unit and drilling one well this year and one by 2020 is a condition set by DNR in its approval of the expansion last August.
- KRISTEN NELSON