Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
July 2009

Vol. 14, No. 27 Week of July 05, 2009

Pipeline work brings ANS production down

Steep dip in numbers June 20-21 as trans-Alaska oil pipeline down; Prudhoe Gathering Center 2 also down for planned maintenance

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope production was down 17.2 percent from May to June as the trans-Alaska oil pipeline took its first planned summer timeout for maintenance work June 20-21, with ANS production dropping below 300,000 barrels per day over that weekend.

The June ANS production average was 591,666 bpd compared to 714,913 bpd in May.

The BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, where Gathering Center 2 went down June 2 for a month-long turnaround, had the steepest month-to-month drop in production, averaging 248,747 barrels per day in June, down 31 percent from a May average of 360,816 bpd.

Prudhoe production includes satellite production from Aurora, Borealis, Midnight Sun, Orion and Polaris.

The BP-operated Lisburne field, part of greater Prudhoe Bay, had a percentage decline of 12 percent, averaging 27,308 bpd in June compared to 31,029 bpd in May. Lisburne production includes Point McIntyre and Niakuk.

Alpine down 3.5 percent

The ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Alpine field had a 3.5 percent May-to-June production decline, averaging 103,760 bpd in June compared to 107,486 bpd in May. Planned maintenance at Alpine was scheduled around the June trans-Alaska oil pipeline maintenance, with more work scheduled to coincide with the pipeline’s July maintenance shutdown. Alpine production includes Fiord, Nanuq and Qannik.

BP’s Milne Point field averaged 29,555 bpd in June, down 3.2 percent from a May average of 30,517 bpd. Milne Point includes Sag River and Schrader Bluff production.

The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk River field averaged 144,674 bpd in June, down 2.4 percent from 148,288 bpd in May. Scheduled work at the Kuparuk Central Processing Facility 2 began in June. Kuparuk production includes Tabasco, Tarn, Meltwater and West Sak, and the Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska-operated Oooguruk field.

Some production increases

Two North Slope fields had June-over-May production increases: Endicott and Northstar.

The BP-operated Endicott field averaged 14,141 bpd in June, up 3.8 percent from a May average of 13,623.

The BP-operated Northstar field averaged 23,481 bpd in June, up 1.4 percent from a May average of 23,154 bpd.

The temperature at Pump Station No. 1 on the North Slope averaged 38.5 degrees Fahrenheit in June, up from a May average of 28.9 degrees F.

In Cook Inlet oil production averaged 3,003 bpd in June, down 24.7 percent from a May average of 3,522 bpd. Transportation of crude oil from the west side of Cook Inlet ended when the Drift River Terminal was shut down because of the threat of continued eruptions from Mount Redoubt. Prior to that, Cook Inlet production was averaging more than 14,000 bpd.

ANS crude oil production peaked in 1988 at some 2 million barrels a day; Cook Inlet crude oil production peaked in 1970 at more than 227,000 bpd.

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