The ‘Beast’ headed to Alpine to spud first ERD well in late April
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Doyon Drilling’s new extended reach drilling rig is on its way to the North Slope Colville River unit to spud its first well in late April for ConocoPhillips Alaska.
From CD2 pad, the giant ERD rig will target the Fiord West Kuparuk reservoir, which was discovered in 1996, but because it’s in an environmentally sensitive area along the coast it couldn’t be accessed.
Rig 26, which is being transported in seven modules, can drill targets some 7 miles from its surface location, whereas other rigs are designed to drill about 22,000 feet from a pad. This means the 9.5 million pound high-tech ERD rig will be able to develop 154 square miles of reservoir versus the standard 55 square miles.
The largest mobile land rig in North America and 1.5 to 2 times more powerful than other North Slope rigs, Doyon 26 is expected to increase Alaska oil production by accessing previously unreachable resources without expanding the surface footprint.
Northwest of the main Alpine field, Fiord West is projected to produce 20,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak.
At ConocoPhillips’ November analyst and investor meeting, Michael Hatfield, president, Alaska, Canada and Europe, said the ERD rig combines advanced drilling technologies, including managing “pressure drilling” and is equipped with the “latest in rig automation. It incorporates a reflective drilling system that can automate repetitive tasks and improve performance significantly. These technologies will enable us to manage the challenges of drilling even longer and more complex wells to access additional resources.”
Over the next 10 years, “we expect the ERD rig will access 100 million barrels at a constant supply of $25 a barrel,” Hatfield said. “Our track record of execution has allowed us to economically develop these areas and will be key to continuing to unlock value in Alaska.”
- KAY CASHMAN