ASRC Exploration drops Beaufort leases
ASRC Exploration has relinquished 21 leases in the Beaufort Sea on Alaska’s outer continental shelf.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management accepted the relinquishments April 16, the same day they were submitted by ASRC Exploration President Teresa Imm.
ASRC Exploration, AEX, acquired the leases from Shell in 2016. They include the 20-lease Taktuk unit and one additional lease and are in Camden Bay some 8 to 25 miles off the northern shore of Alaska’s North Slope, north of the boundary between state land and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Sivulliq and Torpedo oil prospects are both in the western part of the bay, approximately north of the Point Thomson field.
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement deferred expiration of the leases in 2018. Most of the leases had been due to expire in 2017, but AEX requested a suspension of operations on the grounds that an environmental analysis of proposed offshore operations was needed.
The Taktuk unit included two exploration wells, Hammerhead No. 1 and Hammerhead No. 2, drilled by Union Oil in 1985 and 1986.
Shell acquired the leases in 2005 and in 2006 proposed drilling four wells: Sivulliq N and Sivulliq G and Torpedo H and Torpedo J. The company began drilling Sivulliq N in 20012, but only a portion of the well was drilled before the program was canceled.
Taktuk included the Sivulliq prospect, previously called Hammerhead.
In November 2016, after AEX acquired the leases, Imm told Petroleum News that with questions raised over the likelihood of future lease sales for the Arctic outer continental shelf, ASRC had wanted to ensure that there were continuing OCS exploration and development options.
- KRISTEN NELSON