An early April startup
Brooks Range progressing hookup of Mustang field for initial oil production
With the development of initial production arrangements for the Mustang oil field in progress, first oil from the field is now anticipated on April 4, Bart Armfield, CEO of Brooks Range Petroleum, told Petroleum News on Feb. 5. Armfield said that he anticipates production of about 1,000 barrels per day from the North Tarn No. 1A well at startup. Brooks Range recently completed construction of the hot tap arrangements on the Alpine pipeline, for connecting a short export pipeline from the field to that line. Sales grade crude oil will be delivered into the Alpine line for shipment to the trans-Alaska pipeline.
“We’ve got the valve and the hot tap done on the Alpine pipeline,” Armfield said.
Brooks Range had previously obtained Regulatory Commission of Alaska authorization for the pipeline connection.
In November 2017 Brooks Range conducted a successful flow test on the North Tarn No. 1A well - Armfield anticipates the well going on line in April with no significant well work required.
Pipeline installationThe company is currently mobilizing the field crew for the installation of the pipeline from the field and another pipeline for the delivery of seawater to the field, presumably for injection into the reservoir. Ice roads have been constructed and the field camp is in place, Armfield said.
Initially Brooks Range is going to use what it refers to as an early production facility as a temporary arrangement for processing field production. The company anticipates installing the facility in early March, Armfield said.
The Mustang field is the first development in the Southern Miluveach unit, located between the Kuparuk River unit and the Colville River unit on the North Slope. Brooks Range discovered the field in 2012, but technical complications followed by economic issues relating to falling oil prices delayed the completion of the field development.
The company’s latest plan of development for the field, approved by Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas in late October, said that production is planned from three wells: the 1A well, the Mustang 1 well, and the SMU-02 well. However, the latter two wells require well work, including the drilling of a lateral sidetrack from the Mustang 1 well. Armfield says that his company plans a five-well drilling program in the third and fourth quarters of this year.
Permanent facilities laterBrooks Range had originally planned to start the field using permanent 15,000 barrels per day production facilities, installed on the Mustang pad. Most of the modules for the facilities have already been fabricated and are currently being stored in the United States and Canada. Armfield said that the timing of the installation of the permanent facilities will now depend on how the field performs and what the production capacity will need to be. Brooks Range has previously said that the early production facility would have a capacity of around 6,000 barrels per day.
Long-term plans envisage a 21-well development program, with 10 producers and 11 injectors. The field has been reported as likely to hold 20.8 million barrels of proven oil reserves in Kuparuk sands. Development would involve drilling horizontal production wells and vertical injectors in the 11 fault blocks of the field reservoir. The concept for the full development is to build facilities that can also act as a fulcrum for other oil developments in the immediate neighborhood.
Brooks Range operates the Southern Miluveach unit on behalf of working interest owners CaraCol Petroleum LLC, TP North Slope Development LLC, Nabors Drilling Technologies USA Inc., AVCG LLC, Mustang Road LLC and MOC1 LLC.