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February 2019

Vol. 24, No. 6 Week of February 10, 2019

December ANS production down marginally

Average of 535,255 bpd down from 538,130 bpd in November; drops at Prudhoe Bay, Colville; increases at Point Thomson, Mooses Tooth

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope production averaged 535,255 barrels per day in December (479,475 bpd of crude and 55,781 bpd of natural gas liquids), down 0.5 percent, 2,875 bpd, from a November average of 538,130 bpd and down 2.6 percent from a December 2017 average of 549,296 bpd. The drop was led by a 1.3 percent decline at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field and a 6.3 percent drop at the ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Colville River field.

Those drops were largely offset by month-over-month increases at a number of fields, with the largest increases from Eni’s Nikaitchuq field, the ExxonMobil Production Co.-operated Point Thomson field and ConocoPhillips’ Greater Mooses Tooth.

Production data is from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which provides volumes by well on a month-delay basis.

Increased production

Month-over-month production increases were led by a 40.5 percent increase at the Eni-operated Nikaitchuq field, which averaged 9,205 bpd, up 2,652 bpd from a November average of 6,553 bpd (but still down substantially from an October average of 16,091 bpd), and down 52.4 percent from a December 2017 average of 19,348 bpd. Recent production changes appear to be related to the number of producing wells at the field: in October there were 23 wells online at Nikaitchuq, a number which dropped to 10 in November and bounced back to 26 in December (although 17 of those wells were not online for the full 31-day month, but only from two to 19 days, with 14 of the wells online for fewer than 10 days). In October all wells producing at the field did so for 31 days, but in November, only one of the 10 wells producing did so for the full 30 days.

Production from ConocoPhillips’ Greater Mooses Tooth field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska averaged 11,023 bpd in December, up 30.1 percent, 2,550 bpd, from a November average of 8,473. The field came online Oct. 5 and averaged 7,754 bpd in that month.

The ExxonMobil-managed Point Thomson field averaged 10,725 bpd in December, up 7.8 percent, 776 bpd, from a November average of 9,949 bpd. That field came online in April 2016 and the company has struggled with compressor issues at the high-pressure field; the November and December production levels are the first consecutive months in which production has been at or near the 10,000-bpd level for which the field’s facilities were designed. Production was up 101.5 percent from a December 2017 average of 5,324 bpd.

Smaller month-over-month increases were from the ConocoPhillips-managed Kuparuk River field, which averaged 111,047 bpd in December, up 0.7 percent, 768 bpd, from a November average of 110,280, although down 3.7 percent from a December 2017 average of 115,361 bpd. In addition to the main Kuparuk pool, Kuparuk produces from satellites at Meltwater, Tabasco and Tarn, and from West Sak.

Badami, operated by Glacier Oil and Gas subsidiary Savant Alaska, averaged 1,850 bpd in December, up 2.3 percent, 42 bpd, from a November average of 1,808 bpd, and up 151.7 percent from a December 2017 average of 724 bpd.

Other Slope fields down

The largest month-over-month decline by barrel was at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, the Slope’s largest field, which averaged 284,918 bpd in December (232,990 bpd of crude and 51,927 bpd of NGLs), down 3,851 bpd, 1.3 percent, from a November average of 288,769, and down 1.1 percent from a December 2017 average of 288,114 bpd.

In addition to Prudhoe oil, production from the Prudhoe Bay field includes other pools: Aurora, Borealis, Lisburne, Midnight Sun, Niakuk, Polaris, Point McIntyre, Put River, Raven and Schrader Bluff.

ConocoPhillips’ Colville River field averaged 56,879 bpd in December, down 3,805 bpd, 6.3 percent, from a November average of 60,684 bpd and down 16.3 percent from a December 2017 average of 67,918 bpd.

In addition to oil from the main Alpine pool, Colville production includes satellite production from Fiord, Nanuq and Qannik.

The Hilcorp Alaska-operated Northstar field averaged 11,191 bpd (8,219 bpd of crude and 2,971 bpd of NGLs), down 872 bpd, 7.2 percent, from a November average of 12,062 bpd, and down 2.6 percent from a December 2017 average of 11,488 bpd.

Milne Point, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 21,075 bpd in December, down 856 bpd, 3.9 percent, from a November average of 21,930, but up 7.2 percent from a December 2017 average of 19,654 bpd.

Eni’s Oooguruk field averaged 9,909 bpd, down 172 bpd, 1.7 percent, from a November average of 10,081, and down 27.4 percent from a December 2017 average of 13,651 bpd.

The Hilcorp-operated Endicott field averaged 7,434 bpd in December (6,552 bpd of crude and 882 bpd of NGLs), down 107 bpd, 1.4 percent, from a November average of 7,541 bpd, and down 3.5 percent from a December 2017 average of 7,703 bpd.

Cook Inlet up 5.4%

Cook Inlet production averaged 16,187 bpd in December, up 5.4 percent, 828 bpd, from a November average of 15,359, and also up, 2.65 percent, from a December 2017 average of 15,769 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Beaver Creek field averaged 723 bpd in December, down 181 bpd, 20.1 percent, from a November average of 904 bpd, but up 979 percent from a December 2017 average of 67 bpd. Hilcorp redrilled a well at the field which came online in November.

Granite Point, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 2,702 bpd in December, down 1 percent, 27 bpd, from a November average of 2,729 bpd, and down 15.5 percent from a December 2017 average of 3,196 bpd.

BlueCrest’s Hansen field, the Cosmopolitan project, averaged 1,523 bpd in December, up 39.1 percent, 428 bpd, from a November average of 1,095 bpd, and up 4,660 percent from a December 2017 average of 32 bpd. BlueCrest now has four wells producing at the field. Last December it only had one well producing, and that for only seven days out of that month.

Hilcorp’s McArthur River field, Cook Inlet’s largest, averaged 5,216 bpd in December, up 590 bpd, 12.7 percent, from a November average of 4,626 bpd, but down 1.9 percent from a December 2017 average of 5,315 bpd.

Middle Ground Shoal, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 1,453 bpd in December, down 1.8 percent, 26 bpd, from a November average of 1,479 bpd, and down 7.7 percent from a December 2017 average of 1,574 bpd.

Redoubt Shoal, operated by Glacier Oil’s Cook Inlet Energy, averaged 1,310 bpd in December, up 3.3 percent, 42 bpd, from a November average of 1,268 bpd, and up 29.6 percent from a December 2017 average of 1,011 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River field averaged 1,258 bpd in December, down 3.2 percent, 41 bpd, from a November average of 1,299 bpd, and down 25.3 percent from a December 2017 average of 1,683 bpd.

Trading Bay, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 1,357 bpd in December, up 3.3 percent, 43 bpd, from a November average of 1,314 bpd, but down 27.2 percent from a December 2017 average of 1,864 bpd.

Glacier’s West McArthur River field averaged 646 bpd in December, flat from a November average of 645 bpd, but down 37.1 percent from a December 2017 average of 1,027 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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