Next winter's off-road North Slope drilling season for ConocoPhillips will be "very aggressive," with more focus on exploration than appraisal, including seven wells at the new Harpoon prospect southwest of Willow, company executive Michael Hatfield said at today's second-quarter earnings and guidance conference call.
Hatfield oversees Alaska, Canada and Europe for Conoco.
"This past winter was more focused on appraisal, whereas this coming winter will be more focused on exploration," he said.
Because of what he described as "very encouraging" and "successful" appraisal drilling in the Greater Willow area and into the Narwhal trend (Putu, a Nanushuk prospect) this past winter, the company is "now taking the opportunity to drill an additional unbudgeted horizontal well from an existing Alpine drill site into the Narwhal trend later this year," Hatfield said.
He said he expects Conoco's newly acquired 21,000-acre Nuna prospect adjacent to the Kuparuk unit to come online in the 2022 timeframe, noting the company paid "$100 million for 100 million barrels," and expects the acquisition deal with Caelus Natural Resources to close in third quarter of this year.
First oil at Willow in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, he said, will be in 2025 or 2026.
- KAY CASHMAN
See story in Aug. 4 issue of Petroleum News, available online Friday, Aug. 2 at www.petroleumnews.com
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