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Vol. 26, No.18 Week of May 02, 2021
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

ANS crude, NGL production down 1% in March

Down 2.5% from March 2020; largest year-over-year drops at smaller fields; Prudhoe down 1% in March, but up 1.5% year-over-year

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

Alaska North Slope production averaged 500,082 barrels per day of combined crude oil and natural gas liquids in March, down 0.9%, 4,378 bpd, from a February average of 504,460 bpd and down 2.5% from a March 2020 average of 512,920 bpd.

ANS crude oil production averaged 442,778 bpd, down 0.7%, 2,935 bpd, from a February average of 445,713 bpd and down 3% from a March 2020 average of 456,325. Crude accounted for 88.5% of ANS production in March, down slightly from 89% a year ago.

NGL production averaged 57,305 bpd in March, 11.5% of total ANS volume, down 2.5%, 1,443 bpd, from a February average of 58,747 bpd and up 1.3% from a March 2020 average of 56,696 bpd.

Production data are from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which reports production by field and well on a month delay basis.

Year-over-year at Prudhoe

The Hilcorp North Slope-operated Prudhoe Bay field, the Slope’s largest, averaged 273,584 bpd in March, down 1%, 2,651 bpd from February, but up 1.5% from a March 2020 average of 269,686 bpd.

Crude oil was 80.8% of Prudhoe production in March, averaging 220,991 bpd, down 0.6%, 1,219 bpd, from a February average of 222,210 bpd but up 1.8% from a March 2020 average of 217,045 bpd.

Prudhoe NGL production accounted for 19.2% of the field’s volume, averaging 52,593 bpd in March, down 2.7%, 1,432 bpd, from a February average of 54,026 bpd and down 0.1% from a March 2020 average of 52,641 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.

Hilcorp Alaska’s Milne Point field also had a year-over-year increase, averaging 32,845 bpd in March, down 3.7%, 1,273 bpd, from a February average of 34,118 bpd, but up 7.3% from a March 2020 average of 30,624 bpd.

The Slope’s smallest field, Badami, operated by Savant Alaska, a Glacier Oil & Gas company, also had a year-over-year increase, averaging 1,378 bpd in March, down 6%, 88 bpd, from a February average of 1,466 bpd, but up 10.1% from a March 2020 average of 1,252 bpd.

Month-over-month increases

Three North Slope fields had month-over-month production increases, although all three were also down year-over-year.

ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Colville River field averaged 47,691 bpd in March, up 1.7%, 817 bpd, from a February average of 46,874 bpd, but down 7.8% from a March 2020 average of 51,747 bpd.

In addition to oil from the main Alpine pool, Colville production includes satellite production from Nanuq and Qannik.

Eni’s Nikaitchuq field averaged 17,864 bpd in March, up 3.5%, 599 bpd, from a February average of 17,265 bpd but down 5.8% from a March 2020 average of 18,956 bpd.

Eni’s Oooguruk averaged 6,913 bpd in March, up 8.6%, 545 bpd, from a February average of 6,368 bpd but down 20.7% from a March 2020 average of 8,719 bpd.

Down by both measures

The remaining North Slope fields were down both month-over-month and year-over-year.

The ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk River field, the Slope’s second largest, averaged 93,972 bpd in March, down 0.1%, 118 bpd, from a February average of 94,090 bpd and down 8.2% from a March 2020 average of 102,382 bpd.

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

Hilcorp’s Northstar field averaged 9,283 bpd in March, down 2.9%, 280 bpd, from a February average of 9,563 bpd and down 3.7% from a March 2020 average of 9,636 bpd. Northstar has the largest proportion of NGL volume, 41.5%, on the Slope, averaging 3,854 bpd of NGL in March, down 1.5%, 58 bpd, from a February average of 3,913 bpd but up 24.4% from a March 2020 average of 3,098 bpd. Last March 32.2% of Northstar volume was from NGL. Northstar crude production averaged 5,428 bpd in March, down 3.9%, 222 bpd, from a February average of 5,650 bpd, and down 17% from a March 2020 average of 6,539 bpd.

Point Thomson, operated by ExxonMobil Production, averaged 6,847 bpd in March, down 18.5%, 1,556 bpd, from a February average of 8,402 and down 9.9% from a March 2020 average of 7,601 bpd.

The Hilcorp-operated Endicott field averaged 6,685 bpd in March, down 1.3%, 87 bpd, from a February average of 6,772 bpd and down 10% from a March 2020 average of 7,426 bpd. Crude oil, 87.2% of Endicott volume, averaged 5,828 bpd in March, down 2.3%, 135 bpd, from a February average of 5,963 bpd and down 11.3% from a March 2020 average of 6,569 bpd. NGL volume at Endicott averaged 857 bpd in March, up 6%, 48 bpd, from a February average of 809 and unchanged from March 2020.

ConocoPhillips’ Greater Mooses Tooth field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska averaged 3,021 bpd in March, down 8.6%, 285 bpd, from a February average of 3,307 bpd and down 38.3% from a March 2020 average of 4,892 bpd.

Cook Inlet production down 3.8%

Production from Cook Inlet averaged 10,662 bpd in March, down 3.8%, 416 bpd, from a February average of 11,078 bpd and down 19.4% from a March 2020 average of 13,228 bpd. The only NGL volumes recorded for Cook Inlet are from the Swanson River field - 133 bpd, 1.3% of Cook Inlet volume in March.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River was one of only two Cook Inlet fields with a month-over-month volume increase, averaging 988 bpd in March, up 18.9%, 157 bpd, from a February average of 831 bpd and up 8% from a March 2020 average of 919. Swanson crude production averaged 855 bpd in March, up 175 bpd, 25.8%, from a February average of 680 bpd but down 7% from a March 2020 average of 919 bpd. Swanson NGL volumes averaged 133 bpd in March, down 11.7%, 18 bpd, from a February average of 151 bpd, but up 30.7% from a March 2020 average of 102 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Granite Point averaged 2,787 bpd in March, up 1%, 27 bpd, from a February average of 2,760 bpd but down 14.5% from a March 2020 average of 3,258 bpd.

Other Cook Inlet fields had month-over-month production declines, with the largest per-barrel decline at Hilcorp’s McArthur River field, Cook Inlet’s largest, which averaged 3,437 bpd in March, down 9%, 340 bpd, from a February average of 3,777 bpd and down 15.7% from a March 2020 average of 4,075 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Trading Bay field averaged 1,061 bpd, down 140 bpd, 11.7%, from a February average of 1,201 bpd and down 19.9% from a March 2020 average of 1,324 bpd.

BlueCrest’s Hansen field averaged 914 bpd in March, down 63 bpd, 6.4%, from a February average of 976 bpd and down 14.5% from a March 2020 average of 1,068 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Beaver Creek averaged 249 bpd in March, down 48 bpd, 16%, from a February average of 296 bpd, but up 38.2% from a March 2020 average of 180 bpd.

Hilcorp’s Middle Ground Shoal averaged 1,226 bpd, down 10 bpd, 0.8%, from a February average of 1,236 bpd and down 1.5% from a March 2020 average of 1,245 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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S U B S C R I B E




Cook Inlet gas production down

Natural gas production from Cook Inlet averaged 230,855 thousand cubic feet per day in March, down an average of 2,769 mcf per day, 1.2%, from a February average of 233,624 mcf, but up 9.1% from a March 2020 average of 211,619 mcf per day.

This data is from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which reports production on a month-delay basis. For natural gas AOGCC reports measurements in thousands of cubic feet, mcf.

The inlet’s nine largest fields accounted for 88.6% of natural gas in March, 204,589 mcf per day.

Hilcorp Alaska’s Kenai gas field accounted for 22.7% of inlet production in March, an average of 52,465 mcf per day, down 5.7%, 3,142 mcf per day, from a February average of 55,606 mcf per day, but up 45.5% from a March 2020 average of 36,060 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Ninilchik field averaged 30,348 mcf per day in March, 13.2% of inlet gas production, down 0.1%, 39 mcf per day, from a February average of 30,386 mcf per day and down 20.5% from a March 2020 average of 38,154 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s McArthur River averaged 26,817 mcf per day in March, 11.6% of inlet gas production, up 1.2%, 323 mcf per day, from a February average of 26,494 mcf per day and up 32.3% from a March 2020 average of 20,264 mcf per day.

The Hilcorp-operated Beluga River field averaged 23,767 mcf per day in March, 10.3% of inlet production, down 3.3%, 801 mcf per day, from a February average of 24,568 mcf per day but up 27.9% from a March 2020 average of 18,578 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Swanson River field averaged 20,019 mcf per day in March, 8.7% of inlet production, up 6.2%, 1,165 mcf per day, from a February average of 18,853 mcf per day but down 38% from a March 2020 average of 32,265 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s North Cook Inlet field averaged 14,949 mcf per day in March, 6.5% of inlet production, up 0.1%, 19 mcf per day, from a February average of 14,930 mcf per day and up 6.6% from a March 2020 average of 14,023 mcf per day.

Furie’s Kitchen Lights averaged 14,662 mcf per day in March, 6.4% of inlet production, down 2.4%, 362 mcf per day, from a February average of 15,024 mcf per day but up 5.3% from a March 2020 average of 13,927 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Ivan River averaged 10,832 mcf per day in March, 4.7% of inlet production, up 9.4%, 931 mcf per day, from a February average of 9,901 mcf per day, and up 2,892.8% from a March 2020 average of 362 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Beaver Creek averaged 10,732 mcf per day, 4.7% of inlet production, down 4%, 446 mcf per day, from a February average of 11,178 mcf per day but up 48.1% from a March 2020 average of 7,246 mcf per day.

Contributions to inlet production from smaller fields range from 2.2% to 0.1%.

Hilcorp’s Cannery Loop field averaged 5,126 mcf per day in March, up 6.4%, 308 mcf per day, from a February average of 4,818 mcf per day and up 6.1% from a March 2020 average of 4,829 mcf per day.

AIX’s Kenai Loop field averaged 4,814 mcf per day in March, down 2.4%, 120 mcf per day, from a February average of 4,934 mcf per day and down 8.2% from a March 2020 average of 5,241 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Granite Point averaged 3,673 mcf per day in March, up 2%, 70 mcf per day, from a February average of 3,603 mcf per day and up 5.5% from a March 2020 average of 3,483 mcf per day.

Gardes Holdings’ North Fork averaged 3,045 mcf per day in March, up 0.3%, 8 mcf per day, from a February average of 3,037 mcf per day but down 16% from a March 2020 average of 3,625 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Deep Creek averaged 3,012 mcf per day in March, down 1.3%, 39 mcf per day, from a February average of 3,051 mcf per day and down 26.4% from a March 2020 average of 4,092 mcf per day.

BlueCrest’s Hansen field averaged 2,371 mcf per day in March, down 28.4%, 938 mcf per day, from a February average of 3,309 mcf per day and down 42.9% from a March 2020 average of 4,154 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Trading Bay averaged 2,180 mcf per day in March, up 7.1%, 144 mcf per day, from a February average of 2,037 mcf per day but down 25.3% from a March 2020 average of 2,920 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Lewis River averaged 1,096 mcf per day in March, up 0.1%, 1 mcf per day, from a February average of 1,095 mcf per day and up 0.6% from a March 2020 average of 1,090 mcf per day.

Amaroq’s Nicolai Creek averaged 395 mcf per day in March, up 48.8%, 130 mcf per day, from a February average of 266 mcf per day and up 40.4% from a March 2020 average of 282 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Nikolaevsk averaged 335 mcf per day in March, down 5.5%, 19 mcf per day, from a February average of 354 mcf per day and down 20.5% from a March 2020 average of 421 mcf per day.

Hilcorp’s Middle Ground Shoal averaged 218 mcf per day in March, up 20.4%, 37 mcf per day, from a February average of 182 mcf per day but down 17.5% from a March 2020 average of 265 mcf per day.

Cook Inlet natural gas production peaked in the mid-1990s at more than 850,000 mcf per day.

—KRISTEN NELSON

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