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

Vol. 23, No.27 Week of July 08, 2018

Seismic results at Greater Point McIntyre

BP’s latest plan of development for six Prudhoe Bay participating areas makes frequent reference to 2014-15 North Prudhoe seismic

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

BP Exploration (Alaska) has submitted plans of development for six participating areas in the Greater Point McIntyre area to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas: Lisburne, combined Niakuk, Point McIntyre, Raven, North Prudhoe Bay and West Beach.

Combined, these PAs contributed an average of 30,850 barrels per day of production in the 12 months from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

The PODs note that the Lisburne Production Center continues to be gas constrained - there are mentions in the PODs that the facility is at maximum capacity given the constraint.

BP said these are mature areas where production is expected to continue to decline, but also noted that the areas were covered by the North Prudhoe seismic shot in 2014-15. Processing was completed on that seismic in September 2016, BP said, with interpretation focused on improving structure mapping over the entire area, “and now detailed analysis of substructures will begin for prospect identification into 2019.”


The Lisburne participating area is one of the most productive at Greater Point McIntyre, averaging 13,800 barrels per day over the April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, period covered in the POD.

BP said the Lisburne Production Center continues to be gas constrained. Seawater injection into the Lisburne gas cap continues to supplement gas injection for oil recovery. Lisburne gas cap water injection began in 2008 as a pilot and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved it for permanent injection in January 2017. BP said the injector was shut-in during most of the reporting period awaiting repair, which is planned during the current POD plan year.

The gas cap water injection has resulted in gas-oil-ratio suppression, and several previously uncompetitive wells are being brought back on at L5 Pad, pending gas lift installs, the company said.

One well was drilled and completed during the previous plan period and another was in the process of being completed, and 25 additional Lisburne wells had a total of 30 rate-adding interventions.

Current plans include the possible drilling of three additional wells, and the company said several additional Lisburne drilling locations are being considered for possible future drilling, contingent on continued performance of the 2015-17 drilling program and performance of new wells that may potentially be drilled.

Combined Niakuk participating area

The combined Niakuk PA averaged 1,200 bpd in the 2017-18 reporting period. “This rate, combined with production from the other GPMA fields, fully utilized available Lisburne Production Center (LPC) capacity, within reservoir management constraints,” BP said.

BP said there was technical work to assess potential infill and peripheral drilling during the 2017-18 reporting period, with an updated integrated subsurface project underway utilizing the 2014-15 North Prudhoe seismic survey. The survey was completed in April 2015, final pre-stack depth migration processing was completed in September 2016. “A new interpretation of the data was utilized for an update to the reservoir description of the Niakuk field,” BP said.

The company said “Niakuk development well targets are under technical and commercial evaluation,” based on the updated reservoir description.

Point McIntyre PA

Point McIntyre is the most productive participating area of the group, averaging 14,800 bpd in 2017-18.

A rate-adding surface project involved the STP 36-inch pipeline, which had been taken out of service in November 2011. Until October 2016, all Point McIntyre production went to the Lisburne Production Center but following completion of the STP-36 project in that month, all PM-2 pad production went to Gathering Center 1, “resulting in increased production at LPC,” the company said. The project restored the STP-36 line to service by combining the usable portion of the STP 36 line with an existing common line. Previously PM-2 production had been split between LPC and GC1.

There is a tertiary recovery process at Point McIntyre with alternating cycles of miscible gas injection and water injection. Miscible gas injection started in October 2000, with 293 billion cubic feet of MI gas injected into the reservoir to date.

Point McIntyre was covered in the 2014-15 North Prudhoe seismic survey with interpretation focused on improving structure mapping and understanding subsurface areas of interest - the Kuparuk, Sag, Ivishak, Lisburne and Alapah intervals.

“The seismic has resulted in a better understanding of flank opportunities, and coil sidetracks are currently being evaluated,” BP said.

A project to expand MI to the PM-1 pad is planned for 2018, the company said, similar to the project that expanded the volume of MI to PM-2 in the previous plan year.

Raven PA

The Raven participating area averaged 1,050 bpd in 2017-18.

NK-14B was spudded at Raven in March 2017. BP said it is an extension well delineating the extent of the Raven oil pool and is being produced on a tract operation basis as information is gathered. NK-14B is a horizontal well completed in the Sag River formation.

NK-15Ai was spudded in February and completed as an injector at a new location in the Raven pool.

BP said technical evaluations of Raven drilling options are using the 2014-15 North Prudhoe seismic survey, and those “evaluations combined with drilling results will form the basis for potentially expanding the Raven PA.”

North Prudhoe, West Beach

Two of the participating areas, North Prudhoe Bay and West Beach, had no production in 2017-18.

In upcoming plans, which cover Oct. 1 this year through Sept. 30, 2019, BP did not propose bringing those two PAs back into production. North Prudhoe Bay produced from a single well completed in 1993; the well was shut-in in February 2000 due to safety concerns and BP said it has reviewed the condition and history of the well and concluded “that the well is not currently in condition to bring on line and flow.”

There are also issues with a 6-inch line in the area that will require an internal pipeline integrity inspection and once that work has been completed, expected to be in 2019, “additional prospects will be evaluated for development in the North Prudhoe Bay PA,” BP said.

West Beach production began in 1993. BP said the field has been delineated with 11 penetrations - seven wells and four sidetracks - and has produced a total of 3.37 million barrels of crude, with some 92 percent from the original WB-04 well.

Oil production at West Beach was suspended in the second quarter of 2001 due to increasing gas oil ratio and declining reservoir pressure. BP detailed attempts which have been made to put West Beach back into production through 2010 and said production through West Beach production lines will not be restarted until an internal pipeline integrity inspection is made, with engineering studies of the pad underway and assessment of the current conditions of the pipeline and surface kit expected to be complete in 2019. This is the same line which is impacting North Prudhoe Bay production.

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