Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
February 2016

Vol. 21, No. 6 Week of February 07, 2016

ANS crude output down marginally from December

Slope averages 549,679 bpd; Prudhoe output up month over month, all other reporting areas down; Cook Inlet also marginally down


Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope crude oil production averaged 549,679 barrels per day in January, down 0.2 percent from a December average of 550,893 bpd, a drop of just 1,214 bpd.

The only area reporting month-over-month increases was at BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay, which averaged 316,925 bpd in January, up 1.1 percent from a December average of 313,440 bpd.

Information for January comes from the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Tax Division which reports North Slope oil production consolidated by major production centers and provides daily production and monthly averages. More detailed data, including Cook Inlet and individual North Slope fields and pools, is reported by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on a month-delay basis.

As reported by the Tax Division, Prudhoe Bay volumes include satellite production from Aurora, Borealis, Midnight Sun, Polaris, Sag River, Schrader Bluff and Ugnu, as well as from the Hilcorp Alaska-operated Milne Point and Northstar fields.

Milne Point production, as reported by AOGCC for December, averaged 18,707 bpd, down 1.4 percent from a November average of 18,971 bpd, while Northstar averaged 5,574 bpd in December, down 6.4 percent from a November average of 5,957 bpd.

Drops at other facilities

Other North Slope production volumes reported by the Tax Division saw month-over-month declines ranging from 1 percent to 2.5 percent.

The smallest month-over-month decline was at Hilcorp-operated Endicott, which averaged 9,738 bpd in January, down 1 percent from a December average of 9,831 bpd. Endicott volumes include production from Eider, Minke and Sag Delta, as well as from the Savant Alaska-operated Badami field to the east.

AOGCC figures show that Badami averaged 1,206 bpd in December, up 37 percent, 327 bpd, from a November average of 879 bpd.

Production reported for the BP-operated Lisburne field, part of greater Prudhoe Bay, averaged 28,301 bpd in January, down 1.2 percent from a December average of 28,637 bpd. Lisburne includes volumes from Niakuk, Point McIntyre and Raven.

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Alpine field averaged 56,464 bpd in January, down 1.3 percent from a December average of 57,193 bpd. Alpine production includes satellites at Fiord, Nanuq and Qannik.

The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk River field averaged 138,251 bpd in January, down 2.5 percent from a December average of 141,792. Volumes shown for Kuparuk include satellite production from Meltwater, Tarn, Tabasco and West Sak, as well as production from the Eni-operated Nikaitchuq field and the Caelus Alaska-operated Oooguruk field.

Data from AOGCC show that Nikaitchuq averaged 25,591 bpd in December, down 1.4 percent from a November average of 25,940 bpd, while Oooguruk averaged 11,062 bpd in December, down 8.2 percent from a November average of 12,051 bpd.

Cook Inlet

While most Cook Inlet area fields showed small increases in month-over-month November to December production, two fields declined and the 213 bpd drop at one field, Redoubt Shoal, was enough to bring overall production down by 0.2 percent, with a Cook Inlet average for December of 16,745 bpd, down 29 bpd from 16,774 bpd in November.

Cook Inlet production reached a recent peak of 19,080 bpd in April 2015 after dropping below 10,000 bpd in March of 2012.

The largest percentage month-over-month increase, 5 percent, was at the Hilcorp-operated Bever Creek field, which averaged 129 bpd in December, up from 123 bpd in November.

Hilcorp’s Trading Bay field averaged 2,884 bpd in December, up 2.6 percent from a November average of 2,811 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Granite Point field averaged 2,570 bpd in December, up 1.5 percent from a November average of 2,532 bpd.

Middle Ground Shoal, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 1,928 bpd in December, up 1.4 percent from a November average of 1,902 bpd.

Hilcorp’s McArthur River field, Cook Inlet’s largest, averaged 5,176 bpd in December, up 1 percent from a November average of 5,123 bpd.

The West McArthur River field, operated by Cook Inlet Energy, averaged 1,217 bpd in December, up 0.5 percent from a November average of 1,211 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River field averaged 2,095 bpd in December, down 0.9 percent from a November average of 2,114 bpd.

Cook Inlet Energy’s Redoubt Shoal field averaged 745 bpd in December, down 22.2 percent from a November average of 958 bpd.

ANS crude oil production peaked in 1988 at 2.1 million bpd; Cook Inlet crude oil production peaked in 1970 at more than 227,000 bpd.

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