Vol. 28, No.5 Week of January 29, 2023
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Oil patch insider: Pre-app meetings on Willow pipelines begun, NS exploration tally

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Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

In a Jan. 23 status update of key future North Slope oil and gas projects to the Alaska Senate Resources Committee, the director of Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, Derek Nottingham, said the preliminary Final SEIS for Willow came out this month (January) and was currently being reviewed by cooperating agencies, with the public review of the Final SEIS expected in March/April 2023.

Listed below are the specifics about ConocoPhillips big Willow project that were on a slide that was part of Nottingham’s presentation:

Willow permitting

*Comment period for Draft Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) closed Aug. 29, 2022.

*Preliminary Final SEIS: January 2023.

This review is only cooperating agencies (includes SOA).

*Public review of the Final SEIS: March/April 2023.

*Record of Decision (ROD): June/July 2023.

*Permits to the State Pipeline Coordinator’s Section (SPCS) shortly after ROD.

Note: Pre-application discussions for pipelines have already begun.

Construction, performance

*Begin staging and early construction works for winter of 2023-2024.

*Expected peak production of 180,000 barrels of oil per day.

*600 million barrels of oil estimated (mmboe) total production over project life.

*$8-$17 billion in royalty and property tax payment to State of Alaska, U.S. and municipal governments.

2023 North Slope exploration plans

As many as four exploration wells are in the works to be drilled early this year on Alaska’s North Slope, although two of them might be held until January 2024.

ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. planned to begin drilling the Bear 1 well on oil and gas lease ADL 393519 on Feb. 25 and finish by March 25, targeting a Brookian topset play.

The project is located on non-unitized state lands that extend south of Alpine, approximately 22 miles south of Nuiqsut, and 4 miles east of the Colville River. Per a state lease map, it is part of a block of CPAI-held leases that are bordered on the north and east by Oil Search (Alaska), or OSA, operated leases.

In studying available maps and a G&G team’s comments, Bear 1 appears to be on trend with OSA’s 2020 Stirrup discovery.

Bear 1 will be approximately 12 miles south of Stirrup 1, which had one of the highest flow rates of any Nanushuk single-stage stimulation of a vertical well on the North Slope.

Stirrup 1 successfully penetrated the Nanushuk reservoir and encountered an oil column with net pay of 75 feet. The wellbore was cored, perforated through a single-stage simulation and shut-in for six days to enable pressure build-up prior to testing in which Stirrup flowed at a stabilized rate of 3,520 barrels of oil per day,

Armstrong’s North Slope Energy

North Slope Energy, a Bill Armstrong company, is planning to drill two wells in the West Castle prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in early 2023 or early 2024 as part of a multi-year exploration program into a 92,000-acre lease block purchased from Anchorage-based Borealis Alaska Oil in early 2020.

Armstrong is pursuing what he describes as “a perfect look-alike to Willow and Pikka,” meaning Nanushuk reservoirs.

“West Castle is a gorgeous prospect. We identified it off of 3D seismic,” Armstrong told Petroleum News in mid-September.

Shortly after acquiring the acreage, Armstrong told PN his leases lie to the immediate west of ConocoPhillips’ Harpoon prospect.

If the first two wells are drilled this winter, drilling is expected to start Feb. 15 using All American 111 drill rig.

Hickory 1 on schedule

The fourth well planned for this winter is 88 Energy’s Hickory 1 exploration well scheduled to spud on or around March 1 in the company’s Project Phoenix, which used to be called Icewine East.

In a quarterly activities report released as part of an Jan. 25 ASX announcement, the company said the well is designed to appraise six targets within SMD, SFS, BFF and Kuparuk reservoirs.

88 Energy said it has Nordic Calista Rig-2 under contract.

Permitting and planning for Hickory 1 is on schedule to be completed end of January or shortly thereafter.

Alliance moving, Meet Alaska

The Alliance offices are moving to a new location in Anchorage - 406 W. Fireweed Blvd, Suite 200. They started moving on Jan. 23.

And Meet Alaska has been scheduled for Friday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will be at the Hotel Captain Cook, which is at 939 W 5th Ave. in Anchorage.

- Oil Patch Insider is written by Kay Cashman

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