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Vol. 12, No. 15 Week of April 15, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

BRPC announces North Slope crude discovery

Operator Brooks Range says found 70 feet of oil-charged Ivishak sandstone north of Prudhoe at North Shore; Sag River a dry hole

Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

BRPC Group has discovered oil at its North Shore No. 1 exploration well on Alaska’s central North Slope, operator Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. said April 11. The offshore well was drilled from onshore to its target under the Kuparuk River delta.

Brooks Range told its parent company, AVCG, and BRPC’s joint venture partners TG World Energy, Bow Valley Alaska Corp. and Ramshorn Investments, that Nabors Alaska Drilling Rig 16-E “has encountered approximately 70 feet of oil-charged Ivishak sandstone formation” while drilling the North Shore well, which is north of the Prudhoe Bay oil field.

North Shore No. 1 was drilled to “a final true vertical depth of 10,319 feet (13,309 feet measured depth) through the Ivishak sandstone,” Brooks Range said.

The joint venture partners are in the process of casing the well as a potential oil producer.

Testing program next winter

“The well is approximately 1,100 feet west of, and appears to be comparable to, the 1974 Mobil Gwydyr Bay South No. 1 well, which flowed at an average rate of 2,263 barrels of oil per day on production test from the same formation,” Brooks Range said. North Shore No. 1 was intended to test an oil accumulation first tested by Mobil with the South No. 1 well.

“We have identified a structural closure of interest on 3-D seismic,” said Larry J. Smith, Brooks Range chief geophysicist, just prior to spudding North Shore No. 1. “Today’s 3-D seismic technology and 3-D mapping techniques were not available to Mobil when they drilled their well making it difficult for them to map reservoir geometry.”

The potential size and economic viability of the discovery will be evaluated using 3-D seismic data which BRPC acquired over the prospect area this winter and which Brooks Range said was completed by Kuukpik Veritas on March 31. The shoot involved approximately 130 square miles of data.

A full testing program of the North Shore No. 1 well will be undertaken during the 2008 winter season, Brooks Range said.

North Shore No. 1 is on a State of Alaska lease acquired through a farmout arrangement with Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Sag River a dry hole

In the same announcement, Brooks Range said BRPC’s Sag River No. 1 well was drilled to “a final true vertical depth of 11,348 feet (13,110 feet measured depth),” but did not encounter hydrocarbons. The joint venture partners “have suspended the well, pending further evaluation, for the possibility of drilling an exploratory sidetrack during the 2008 winter drilling season.”

Data gathered from the Sak River well “will be integrated with proprietary 3-D seismic to evaluate the sidetrack exploration opportunity.”

“Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. is committed to safe operations, environmental stewardship, and economic growth which will provide jobs for Alaskans,” Bo Darrah, Brooks Range president and CEO, said prior to spudding the wells. “We place a high priority on purchasing goods and services locally. We are committed to giving local contractors and suppliers the opportunity to participate in our projects through the competitive bid process.”



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