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Vol. 14, No. 31 Week of August 02, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

BRPC: starting small

North Shore permitting under way; well next; gravel work could begin in 2010

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

If the next well is successful, and development at North Shore is approved by the owners, production could begin as early as 2011 from the prospect north of Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope.

Crude oil would be processed at the North Shore pad and moved by tanker truck to a connection with existing pipelines.

While the working interest owners have to resolve a legal dispute and agree to proceed, North Shore operator Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. has an application for an Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan out for 30-day public review. This is just one of the permits the company hopes to have in place by the first quarter of 2010 to begin development work at North Shore, which the company believes could produce 5 million to 10 million barrels of oil.

The 30-day public review period for the plan began July 31.

In its March application for approval of the Beechey Point unit — a number of small accumulations including North Shore — the company said it had submitted applications for most of the permits it needed for development.

The North Shore No. 3 well is scheduled to be drilled during the 2010 winter exploration drilling season using an ice road and an ice pad, “subject to working interest approval,” BRPC said in its unit application. That well will target the Ivishak and Sag River sands and if successful, the proposed development project can be approved for development, the company said.

Brooks Range Petroleum Corp., the local affiliate of Kansas-based Alaska Venture Capital Group, is in partnership with TG World Energy Corp. and Ramshorn Investments Inc., but BRPC is involved in a legal dispute with TG World and that dispute could delay BRPC’s plans to conduct a multiyear onshore oil and gas development project beginning in 2011, which is the plan described in the ODPCP application.

BRPC said it would be conducting geological and operational pre-drilling planning for the North Shore No. 3 well this year. If working interest owner approval is not obtained for drilling the well in 2010, the well will be drilled in 2011.

Conceptual engineering

The company said conceptual engineering for North Shore development will continue this year and next, with gravel road and pad construction design, logistics and contracting in 2009 and early 2010.

“Gravel construction may begin as early as the second quarter of 2010, allowing first oil to be produced in 2011,” but if the proposed North Shore development does not receive owner approval until after the 2010 winter season, gravel would be laid in the winter of 2011 and first oil would be produced in 2012.

BRPC said in its ODPCP application that the North Shore prospects are “within a 15,000-foot horizontal drilling radius” of the proposed North Shore pad and include Ivishak River and Sag River sands in five accumulations: North Shore Nos. 1-4 and Pete’s Wicked.

The project includes a 12.6-acre gravel production pad, a dual-lane 5-mile gravel access road, production wells and production-related facilities. The North Shore pad location is some 3.5 miles north-northeast of S Pad in the Prudhoe Bay unit. The new 5-mile road would connect North Shore to the Spine Road via S Pad.

In addition to the North Shore pad the project includes a lease automatic custody transfer pad with a storage tank, pump, sales oil meter and diesel generator.

BRPC said crude oil would be trucked from the North Shore pad to the LACT pad adjacent to the Kuparuk Pipeline for delivery into that line via a short transmission line, some 250 feet of 6-inch line. Tanker trucks would also deliver diesel fuel from Deadhorse to North Shore.

The ODPCP is for a maximum of 5,500 barrels per day; the cargo capacity of the tanker trucks is some 250 barrels.

On-pad processing

BRPC said North Shore production would be processed on the pad with a three-phase processing facility with separation and re-injection capabilities. Produced water and natural gas will be re-injected for enhanced oil recovery with sales oil trucked to the LACT metering skid adjacent to the Kuparuk Pipeline.

BRPC said it may also drill one or more exploration wells from on or near the proposed North Shore pad.

“If oil is found at one of these new prospects and the accumulation proves to be large enough to be commercial, additional development wells may be drilled on the pad and/or a satellite drilling pad may be permitted and constructed to connect to the North Shore processing facilities,” the company said.

The process facilities at North Shore will be designed to handle peak rates up to 5,000 barrels of oil per day and the associated gas and water for a peak fluid capacity of 7,500 barrels of fluid per day.

Waterflood will dispose of produced water from the Ivishak River formation; produced gas will be used for fuel gas and excess gas will be re-injected into the Sag River reservoir.

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