ConocoPhillips staked four new oil exploration wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in early October.
Of the stakings, three fall inside the new Mooses Tooth unit: Grandview 1 East in lease AA-81785, Grandview 2 in lease AA-81804 and Pioneer 1 in lease AA-81779. The other, Flattop 1 in lease AA-81798, is presumably just outside the eastern border of the unit.
ConocoPhillips expects to drill two wells in Mooses Tooth this coming winter to look for new oil and gas accumulations and to expand on previous discoveries, according to Michael Faust, offshore exploration manager for ConocoPhillips.
Grandview East and Pioneer 1 are currently in the proposal stage, awaiting partner approval and the finalized companywide budget, typically released each December.
ConocoPhillips expects to drill both wells using Doyon rig 141.
For the past decade, ConocoPhillips has been the most active explorer in NPR-A, permitting dozens of exploration wells and drilling no less than 18 as of this past March.
Those exploration programs have had varying success, though.
Following an unsuccessful venture into more remote corners of the reserve in early 2007, the company moved closer to existing infrastructure this past winter.
Mooses Tooth, the first unit approved by the Bureau of Land Management in NPR-A, grew out of discoveries made by unit operator ConocoPhillips through its predecessor companies and Anadarko Petroleum, which holds a minority interest in the unit.
With as many as five possible participating areas at Mooses Tooth, the unit could contain as many as five separate reservoirs.