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May 2019

Vol. 24, No.19 Week of May 12, 2019

March ANS crude down 1% from February

Average of 522,334 bpd down 5% from March 2018; Cook Inlet, at 15,329 bpd, up 1.3% from February, down 1.7% from March 2018

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope production averaged 522,344 barrels per day in March, 465,742 bpd of crude oil and 56,592 bpd of natural gas liquids, down 1%, 5,310 bpd, from a February average of 527,644 bpd, and down 5% from a March 2018 average of 549,874 bpd.

The drop in volumes comes from crude production, down 1.4%, 6,715 bpd, from February to March, while NGLs increased by 2.6%, up 1,405 bpd. From March 2018 to March 2019, ANS crude dropped 6.2%, while ANS NGLs increased by 6.2%.

Production data reported here comes from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which provides volumes by field and well on a month-delay basis.

The largest month-over-month volume decline was at the ConocoPhillips Alaska-operated Kuparuk River field, the Slope’s second largest, which averaged 104,830 bpd in March, down 2.6%, 2,752 bpd, from a February average of 107,582 bpd, and down 10.7% from a March 2018 average of 117,329 bpd.

In addition to the main Kuparuk pool, Kuparuk produces from satellites at Meltwater, Tabasco and Tarn, and from West Sak.

The largest month-over-month percentage decline was at the Eni-operated Oooguruk field, which averaged 7,912 bpd in March, down 13.9%, 1,243 bpd, from a February average of 9,155, and down 33% from a March 2018 average of 11,815 bpd. Eni acquired Oooguruk from Caelus Alaska, subject to approvals, in January.

Other fields with declines

Badami, operated by Glacier Oil & Gas subsidiary Savant, averaged 1,817 bpd in March down 0.3%, 6 bpd, from a February average of 1,823 bpd and up 161% from a March 2018 average of 696 bpd. Savant brought a new well, B1-07, online last May. That well produced 1,120 bpd in March, accounting for 62% of Badami production.

Production at the BP Exploration (Alaska)-operated Prudhoe Bay field, the Slope’s largest, averaged 273,766 bpd in March, down 0.6%, 1,541 bpd, from a February average of 275,307 bpd, and down 6.9% from a March 2018 average of 293,904 bpd. The field’s crude oil production, 220,977 bpd, was down 1.4%, 3,219 bpd, from February, while Prudhoe NGLs, which averaged 52,789 bpd, increased by 3.3%, 1,678 bpd.

In addition to the primary reservoir, production volumes from Prudhoe include Aurora, Borealis, Lisburne, Midnight Sun, Niakuk, Polaris, Point McIntyre, Put River, Raven and Schrader Bluff.

Milne Point, operated by Hilcorp Alaska, averaged 22,910 bpd in March, down 0.9%, 198 bpd, from a February average of 23,108 bpd, and up 6.9% from a March 2018 average of 21,425 bpd.

ConocoPhillips’ Greater Mooses Tooth, which came online in early October, averaged 12,310 bpd in March, down 1.7%, 216 bpd, from a February average of 12,526. The field is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Production from the Hilcorp-operated Endicott field averaged 7,313 bpd in March, down 2.6% from a February average of 7,508 bpd, but up 2.1% from a March 2018 average of 7,165 bpd. March production included 6,443 bpd of crude oil and 870 bpd of NGLs.

Northstar, also operated by Hilcorp, averaged 11,133 bpd in March, down 3.6% from a February average of 11,553 bpd but up 16.3% from a March 2018 average of 9,575 bpd. March production included 8,200 bpd of crude oil and 2,933 bpd of NGLs.

Eni’s Nikaitchuq field averaged 16,527 bpd in March, down 4.2%, 717 bpd, from a February average of 17,244 and down 12.9% from a March 2018 average of 18,966 bpd.

Production up at two fields

Month-over-month production was up at two North Slope fields: ConocoPhillips’ Colville River and ExxonMobil Production’s Point Thomson.

Colville River production averaged 54,142 bpd in March, up 2.1%, 1,089 bpd, from a February average of 53,053 bpd, but down 16.5% from a March 2018 average of 64,847 bpd. In addition to oil from the main Alpine pool, Colville production includes satellite production from Fiord, Nanuq and Qannik.

At Point Thomson, March production averaged 9,674 bpd, up 10.1%, 890 bpd, from a March average of 8,784 bpd, and up 133% from a March 2018 average of 4,152 bpd. The field came online early 2016, with facilities geared to 10,000 bpd of condensate production, but there were issues with the facilities and the field only began regularly producing in the 10,000-bpd range at the end of last year.

Cook Inlet

Cook Inlet crude oil production averaged 15,329 bpd in March, up 1.3%, 195 bpd, from a February average of 15,134 bpd but down 1.7% from a March 2018 average of 15,597 bpd.

Hilcorp Alaska’s Beaver Creek field, Cook Inlet’s smallest, averaged 341 bpd in March, down 1.3% from a February average of 346 bpd but up 255% from a March 2018 average of 96 bpd. Production at the field kicked up late last year after Hilcorp re-drilled a well at the field.

Hilcorp’s Granite Point field averaged 2,714 bpd in March, up 3.5% from a February average of 2,624 bpd, but down 7.7% from a March 2018 average of 2,942 bpd.

The BlueCrest-operated Hansen field, the Cosmopolitan project, averaged 1,562 bpd in March, up 11.9% from a February average of 1,396 bpd, and up 99.7% from a March 2018 average of 782. BlueCrest has been increasing the number of wells on production, most recently from four in February to five in March.

Hilcorp’s McArthur River field, Cook Inlet’s largest, averaged 4,903 bpd in March, up 1.9%from a February average of 4,810 bpd and up 4.7% from a March 2018 average of 4,681 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Middle Ground Shoal averaged 1,408 bpd in March, down 1% from a February average of 1,422 bpd and down 8.8% from a March 2018 average of 1,544 bpd.

Redoubt Shoal, operated by Glacier Oil & Gas subsidiary Cook Inlet Energy, averaged 1,256 bpd in March, down 16% from a February average of 1,496 bpd, and down 4.4% from a March 2018 average of 1,314 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River field averaged 1,104 bpd in March, up 3.9% from a February average of 1,063, but down 22.6% from a March 2018 average of 1,427 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Trading Bay field averaged 1,462 bpd in March, up 13.6% from a February average of 1,287 bpd, but down 13.6% from a March 2018 average of 1,810 bpd.

Glacier’s West McArthur River field averaged 579 bpd in March, down 16.2% from a February average of 690 bpd and down 42.2% from a March 2018 average of 1,001 bpd.

ANS crude oil production peaked in 1988 at 2.1 million bpd; Cook Inlet crude oil production peaked in 1970 at more than 227,000 bpd.






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