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Vol. 25, No.20 Week of May 24, 2020
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Alaska posts new Cook Inlet and North Slope activity maps

Click here to go to the full PDF version of this issue, with any maps, photos or other artwork that appears in some of the articles.

Kay Cashman

Petroleum News

The latest North Slope and Cook Inlet oil and gas activity maps were posted on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas website on May 18.

The Cook Inlet map highlights recently completed activity, with private sector 2020 work by two companies - Hilcorp and Cook Inlet Energy, a Glacier Oil and Gas company. Activities are listed from north to south in the basin.

Hilcorp’s recent activities include the following:

* In the Trading Bay unit completed two workovers and planning one additional workover at the Monopod platform. Completed one workover at the Grayling platform and planning two more workovers at the Dolly Varden platform. Conducting field studies to identify oil and gas opportunities in TBU.

* In the Granite Point unit GP-53RD completed and online at 1,100 barrels of oil per day.

* Suspended A-10 RD well just outside TBU.

* At Middle Ground Shoal unit numerous workovers and additional perforation from Platform A and Platform C. Plan to delineate oil or gas reservoirs and possibly drill several rotary wells and coil tubing wells.

* Identified six prospects in Grassim Oskolkoff participating area at Ninilchik unit with drilling possible in 2020 or 2021 POD periods.

* Drilling new stratigraphic test wells at Whiskey Gulch.

* Identified prospects from 3D seismic acquired in 2019 in lower Cook Inlet. Conducting geohazards survey in late summer this year. Plan to drill one of the prospects, Blackbill, with Seadrill West Epsilon jack-up rig next year.

* Plan to drill second well at Seaview natural gas prospect and bring pad online this year. Discovery well, Seaview 8, was drilled in 2018 to depth of 10,148 feet.

Cook Inlet Energy activity

Cook Inlet Energy’s recent activities include:

* Plan of development, or POD, approved for West McArthur River unit. Continuing to brainstorm ways to enhance production, manage production decline, and increase ultimate recovery from existing wells. Continue to permit drilling plans for Sabre project.

* Redoubt Shoal unit POD approved. Plan to add perforations and re-stimulate RU-6A water injection well and examine results of enhanced recovery waterflood efforts.

That said, Petroleum News sources indicate that oil production from West McArthur River and Redoubt have been temporarily shut in due to low crude prices.

State, federal agencies

The Division of Oil and Gas’ recent activates for the Cook Inlet basin include:

* Bidding for 2020 Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet areawide oil and gas lease sales online at EnergyNet (www.energynet.com). Bidding opened May 19 and results will be publicly available June 17.

* The division is currently preparing a best interest finding for Mount Spurr in response to Raser Power System’s geothermal prospecting permit application received in 2019. This is in red type on the map, indicating geothermal activity.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s outer continental shelf 2017-2022 oil and gas program includes one lease sale in Cook Inlet planning area in 2021.

ConocoPhillips on North Slope

As usual. ConocoPhillips dominates activities on the North Slope, but Hilcorp, Oil Search, 88 Energy, Jade Energy and Pantheon Resources also play a part in recent and planned activities per the North Slope map.

To the west ConocoPhillips received approval to delay contraction of Fiord West from the Colville River unit as well as postpone drilling and sustained production by one year. The company completed Fiord West Rhea 1 well in first quarter, and drilled and completed CD4-499, a Qannik step-out well, east of the existing CD2 development.

The company also applied to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to vertically expand the Qannik pool after drilling CD4-499.

In late 2019, ConocoPhillips finished drilling and testing a Narwhal appraisal well, as well as a supporting injector well. (Narwhal prospect production is anticipated as early as 2022 from CD4 pad.)

The company ended its exploration season early this past winter and demobilized its North Slope rig fleet due to concerns over COVID-19. One Harpoon prospect well and two Tinmiaq wells near ConocoPhillips’s proposed Willow development were completed. A final appraisal of the Willow and Narwhal discoveries is underway.

First oil from Willow is expected in 2025-26. The map says the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a supplement to the draft EIS for the proposed Willow master development plan. Development “may include central processing facility, infrastructure pad, up to five drill pads (with up to 50 wells on each pad), among other features.”

Finally, ConocoPhillips applied to AOGCC for expansion of the Kuparuk River pool boundary. It trimmed drilling programs in the Kuparuk River unit, including laying down two rigs due to COVID19 concerns.

Oil Search exploration success

West of the central North Slope, Oil Search drilled and tested Mitquq 1 and Mitquq 1 ST1 and Stirrup 1 wells.

Mitquq ST1 flowed at stabilized rate of 1,730 barrels of oil per day and Stirrup 1 flowed at 3,520 bpd.

In dealing with lower oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic. Oil Search reduced 2020 development spending and cancelled exploration work for winter 2020-21. The company also deferred the final investment decision for Pikka, while continuing work to optimize the project.

Hilcorp continues NS drilling

On the central North Slope Hilcorp continues to run two rigs in the Milne Point unit, planning to drill 11 new development wells and install associated infrastructure at I pad.

Expansion of S pad at MPU was approved, allowing Hilcorp to drill 10 new wells to increase production from the Ugnu reservoir.

Both Hilcorp and BP remain committed to closing the sale of BP’s Alaska upstream and midstream assets, although the map did not point out that the companies are now looking at closing the upstream portion first, in June.

Jade’s Sourdough postponed

Jade’s second POD for the eastern North Slope’s Sourdough prospect was approved, and the map says Jade plans to continue wellsite and permitting work this summer, including dredging the Point Thomson unit service pier to allow for barge transportation of a drill rig next summer.

According to the map, Jade plans to conduct a winter 2021-22 Sourdough drilling campaign, versus a potential winter 2021-21 campaign, that will involve drilling to approximately 12,750 feet to encounter a prospective Brookian sand target and Hue shale.

88 Energy active on Slope

88 Energy completed interpretation and resource evaluation in the first half of 2019 on inversion product for Yukon 3D in the eastern North Slope’s Yukon Gold prospect. Permitting is underway for possible drilling on Yukon acreage, subject to farm-out.

In the central North Slope, 88 Energy drilled the Charlie 1 well this past winter and announced a condensate discovery in the Torok formation.

The company is pursuing options to commercialize the resource; further analysis needed.

Premier Oil withdrew from joint venture and 88 Energy now has a 75% working interest in the prospect. The JV plans to conduct a farm-out to fund further HRZ appraisal.

The map also says, XCD Energy “received and accepted takeover bid from 88 Energy, merger moving forward.”

Other activity

Regarding Pantheon, Halliburton Energy Services and Red Technology Alliance transferred their 25% working interest in North Slope leases operated by Great Bear Petroleum to Pantheon.

And the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. received the final environmental impact statement in March and is expected to receive final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this summer.

“AGDC seeks to find a private sponsor for the project by the end of 2020,” the map says.

Finally, Alaska’s Oil and Gas Division issued a call in April for exploration license proposals for the program, which encourages exploration outside of the known oil and gas provinces in the Alaska Peninsula, Cook Inlet, Beaufort Sea, North Slope, and North Slope Foothills areas.

- KAY CASHMAN



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