On Nov. 2 Oil Search Alaska, or OSA, filed the 2022 Pikka unit plan of development for the one year-period beginning Feb. 1, 2022, with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and its Division of Oil and Gas.
Based upon work conducted under previous Pikka unit exploration and development plans, including appraisal drilling activities in 2018-19 and civil works construction in 2019 through 2021, OSA said the working interest owners continue to advance development in order to establish Pikka oil and gas production.
The Pikka unit working interest owners, or WIOs, are operator OSA with 51% and Repsol E&P USA with 49%.
In its proposed 2022 plan of development, or POD, OSA told the division that Phase 1 of the Pikka project involves a single drill site, ND-B, and associated pipelines and production infrastructure. (The company has previously said peak production from Phase 1 will quickly reach 80,000 barrels a day.)
“The WIOs will drill wells and construct and operate infrastructure and facilities to produce and transport crude oil from the Nanushuk and other reservoirs,” OSA said.
Pressure on divisionThe “key forward development activities” in the 2022 POD are “subject to timely receipt of satisfactory division and other regulatory approvals, commercial terms and economic conditions.” Those development activities include continuation of engineering and regulatory activities in connection with the WIOs decision on project sanction in 2022, OSA said in the proposed POD.
The company pointed out that “a final director’s determination and notice to proceed to the construction phase of the seawater treatment plant, or STP, facility and pipeline project has not yet been issued by the division.”
“This notice to proceed is a necessary pre-condition to STP facility and pipeline construction. Given the necessity for water of sufficient quality and quantity for Pikka development operations,” the notice to proceed from the division impacts the WIOs being able to “make the significant project financial commitments necessary to maintain project schedule,” OSA said.
Not receiving the notice to proceed to the construction phase of the STP facility and pipeline project will jeopardize Pikka production startup, the company said.
Work commitmentsExisting project infrastructure maintenance work will continue in 2022, OSA said in its proposed POD, including minor gravel road and pad maintenance and snow removal from select culverts prior to spring breakup, as well as the bi-annual inspection of the Miluveach River Bridge.
In addition, the company said work in Nuiqsut for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers compensatory mitigation projects is planned, either in the 2022 or 2023 winter season. This work includes construction of a new gravel pad and completion of a geotechnical program.
Subject to project sanction, development drilling initially targeting the Nanushuk reservoir is scheduled to begin in 2023 from the ND-B pad.
Construction activities for field infrastructure will continue in 2023 to support field production beginning in 2025.
Enviro studies continue“The WIOs will continue to conduct environmental studies to protect biodiversity,” OSA said, which includes programs in hydrology, fish, water quality, waterfowl, Nuiqsut fall subsistence fishery, caribou and subsistence use in the area.
OSA said it will also continue to work with key North Slope stakeholders, including the North Slope Borough, Kuukpik Corp. and the community of Nuiqsut, noting it “routinely holds events in the community of Nuiqsut emphasizing the importance of healthy communities, education and training opportunities, and maintaining sustainable livelihoods.”
Components of the overall development infrastructure, including future phases, consist of the following:
* Nanushuk Processing Facility, or NPF, which will receive production from the ND-B development pad and future development drill sites, and process it to sales quality crude, and more.
* Nanushuk Operation Pad, or NOP, which includes the main camp, shops, storage, and a fuel station.
* ND-B development pad.
* Infield pipelines and cables.
* Import and export pipelines:
* Tie-in Pad, or TIP, which will facilitate connection of the Pikka sales oil pipeline to existing North Slope export pipelines.
* Other civil infrastructure, including gravel pads for all facilities with connecting gravel roads and bridges.
* Seawater Treatment Plant.
OSA said it will continue to refine subsurface modeling and advance development well design, in preparation for development drilling.
The company said it has completed appraisal drilling activities sufficient for defining the resource targets (and surface locations) for the proposed development.