Vol. 28, No.22 Week of May 28, 2023
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

State OKs multiple plan amendments, 1 POD

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Approvals include Prudhoe IPA plan of development; additional Kuparuk wells; Kuparuk road maintenance; Badami dock screeding

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Recent approvals by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas include the 2023 plan of development for the initial participating areas at Prudhoe Bay, up to 11 new wells at drill site 3S at the Kuparuk River unit, Oliktok causeway roadway maintenance - also at Kuparuk - and screeding for dock maintenance at Badami.

Prudhoe IPA

As previously reported in Petroleum News (see April 9 issue), Prudhoe operator Hilcorp North Slope is proposing as many as 38 new wells in the initial participating area during the 2023 plan of development period, which covers July 1 through June 30, 2024. In its May 18 approval of the POD, the division said that while as many as 38 wells are planned for the IPA, "some of these wells may be deferred to other areas within PBU, depending on the well economics."

There are 12 participating areas at Prudhoe. The IPA includes the oil rim PA and the gas cap PA.

Hilcorp planned as many as 11 wells during the 2022 POD, the division said, targeting the Ivishak or Sag River, with six wells completed and a seventh planned during the remainder of the 2022 period, according to the POD submitted in early April.

A reduction in workovers is planned for the 2023 POD, the division said, as Hilcorp has worked through the backlog of broken wells at Prudhoe. Workovers will be done as needed during the 2023 POD. During the 2022 POD, Hilcorp performed 11 workovers with another four well integrity workovers and recompletes planned prior to the end of the 2022 POD.

Hilcorp completed all proposed facility and integrity management projects under the 2022 POD, and has a number of facility upgrades planned during the 2023 POD: CCP compressor upgrades; GC2 B bank slug catcher internals redesign; drill site 18 pipeline construction; and H-pad pipeline construction.

Kuparuk DS 3S

Additional wells are the reason for an amendment to the Kuparuk River unit POD submitted by operator ConocoPhillips Alaska. In its May 22 approval, the division said ConocoPhillips requested authorization for the 11 wells at drill site 3S in early May. The work includes installing conductors, cellar boxes and temporary mouseholes for each well prior to drilling the wells, with well houses and "related appurtenances" to be installed after drilling.

Construction equipment for the work will include an excavator, pile driver, crane, skid-steer loader and other equipment as needed. All work will be done on the pad. The project is scheduled to begin June 15.

Oliktok causeway, road maintenance

On May 22 the division approved an application from ConocoPhillips Alaska for an amendment to the Kuparuk River plan of operations for Oliktok causeway and roadway maintenance.

This approval involves placement of 750 cubic yards of clean gravel fill onto 0.45 acres of wetlands to support maintenance of the existing Oliktok causeway and roadway in the Kuparuk River unit.

In addition, 39,250 cubic yards of fill will be placed onto the existing gravel road to restore it to a minimum thickness of 5 feet, protect the underlying permafrost and stabilize the road to support the transportation of heavy equipment.

Work includes mining and hauling gravel from mine site E; gravel placement; compaction of gravel.

The division said an envirovac will be placed at the 12-acre pad to support construction activities. The project is scheduled to begin in August.

Badami dock maintenance screeding

In early May the division approved an amendment to the unit plan of operations at Badami for Badami dock maintenance screeding.

The request, from Savant Alaska, the Badami operator, is for screeding operations on the Beaufort Sea seafloor in preparation for docking barges at the Badami dock.

"The screeding operations involve scraping the seafloor with a blow mounted to a barge and flattening the area to a consistent depth of 6.5 feet (local datum)," over an area of approximately 600 feet by 300 feet, 4.1 acres, north of the dock.

The division said no seafloor sediments will be removed and no outside material will be placed.

The screeding operations are planned to begin in May and will be conducted, as needed, during the ice-free season.

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