With the expansion of CD-5 and anticipation of Greater Mooses Tooth, the Colville River unit might be busier than itís been at any time since it came online nearly 20 years ago.
The first two years of development activity at the CD-5 pad have revealed additional opportunities for operator ConocoPhillips, leading to a physical expansion of the pad.
ConocoPhillips completed the first expansion of the CD-5 pad in 2017, adding 12 well slots. The company is currently working on permitting and engineering for a second expansion, called CD5X2, which would add 10 more well slots starting in 2019.
A separate project at the CD-2 pad this year, called CD2X would expand the drilling pad by some 5.8 acres to accommodate 32 additional wells at the Fiord West development.
Those activities come as ConocoPhillips is preparing to bring the neighboring Greater Mooses Tooth unit into development from the Lookout prospect in late 2018. The production would be processed through the existing Alpine Central Facilities at the unit.
The company expects the existing facilities to be able to handle the change in production profile but will be analyzing the facility to ensure its ability to handle future growth.
The Colville River unit produced 62,901 barrels per day in 2017, up from 58,830 barrels per day in 2016, according to figures from the company and the state. The figures could be higher for the coming year, with nine wells and multiple sidetracks on the agenda.
ConocoPhillips is also considering an exploration well at the Colville River unit this year.
If sanctioned, the CD4-95 Narwhal exploration well would target the Brookian Nanushuk sand within the Narwhal trend using an existing slot and infrastructure at the CD-4 pad.
AlpineConocoPhillips develops the unit from six participating areas - Alpine, Nanuq Kuparuk, Fiord Kuparuk, Fiord Nechelik, Nanuq and Qannik - accessed from five drilling pads.
Colville River unit development activities in recent years have focused heavily on Alpine activities from CD-5, which came into production in late 2015 after years of delays.
The Alpine oil pool includes the Alpine participating area and the Nanuq Kuparuk participating area, which have historically been the center of development at the unit.
ConocoPhillips drilled seven wells and sidetracks at the Alpine participating area in 2017: the CD5-18, CD5-20, CD5-22, CD5-39A and CD2-47A producers and the CD5-17 and CD5-19 injectors. The company could drill as many as six rotary wells at the Alpine participating area during the current development year, which runs through March 2019.
ConocoPhillips completed the 30,218-foot CD5-25 well and its 20,973-foot CD5-25 lateral in March 2018. The well is a directional multilateral injector targeting the Alpine A and C sand. It is a companion to the CD5-23 injector well drilled in January 2018.
Those two injectors would support a trio of proposed production wells: CD5-11A, CD5-11B and CD5-11C. The CD5-24 producer would aim for a target west of CD5-19.
The sixth well would be the CD4-5D targeting the C sand west of CD4-26.
ConocoPhillips is also considering several coiled tubing drilling sidetracks, including a northward expansion of the CD4-208A pattern, a re-drilling of the CD4-210A well, a lateral drilled into the space between the CD5-23 and CD5-25 injectors, among a range of other opportunities into the Alpine participating area from the CD2 and CD5 pads.
The company drilled two wells at the Nanuq Kuparuk participating area in 2017: the CD5-314X producer and the CD5-316 injector. The CD5-314X well suggested the presence of a new target to the west but accessing it will require a bigger drilling rig.
As of March 2018, the Alpine participating area was being developed from 150 wells - 78 producers, 70 injectors and two disposal wells - up five from the previous year. The increase represents wells from the new CD-5 pad. The participating area produced 41,100 barrels of oil per day in 2017, up from 37,100 barrels per day the previous year.
As of March 2018, the Nanuq Kuparuk participating area was being developed from 13 wells - six producers and seven injectors - up two from the previous year. Nanuq Kuparuk produced 10,600 barrels per day in 2017, up from 9,600 barrels per day in 2016.
Through the end of 2017, the Alpine participating area had produced 429 million barrels and the Nanuq Kuparuk participating area had produced 33.7 million barrels.
SatellitesThe Alpine program is the oldest and largest development project at the Colville River unit. The remaining pools are considered satellites of the main Alpine development.
The Fiord satellite at CD-3 includes the Fiord Kuparuk and Fiord Nechelik participating areas. ConocoPhillips re-drilled a completed Fiord Nechelik producer and conducted a fracture stimulation operation on one well in 2017, but the company is not planning any drilling or stimulation at the Fiord participating areas in the current development year.
ConocoPhillips is planning an extended reach drilling program at the unit starting in 2020 and may drill a slant pilot hole production well from the CD-2 pad targeting the Fiord West Kuparuk reservoirs to assist with planning efforts for the extended reach program.
As of March 2018, the Fiord Kuparuk participating area was being produced from five wells - two producers and three injectors. The participating area produced 1,100 barrels per day in 2017, equal to the average production date from 2016. The Fiord Nechelik participating area was being produced from 23 wells - 13 producers and 10 injectors. The participating area produced 7,100 barrels per day in 2017, down from 7,800 bpd in 2016.
Through the end of 2017, the Fiord Kuparuk participating area had produced 13.8 million barrels and the Fiord Nechelik participating area had produced 55.4 million barrels.
The Nanuq satellite at CD-4 includes the Nanuq participating area.
ConocoPhillips plans to drill one rotary well and one coiled tubing drilling sidetrack at the Nanuq participating area this development year but has not yet defined either project.
As of March 2018, the company was developing the Nanuq participating area from nine wells - five producers and four injectors, equal to 2017. The participating area produced 1,500 barrels per day in 2017, equal to the production rate from 2016. The Nanuq participating area had produced 4.3 million cumulative barrels through the end of 2017.
The Qannik satellite at CD-2 includes the Qannik participating area.
ConocoPhillips plans to drill one rotary well at Qannik during the current development year and may drill other undefined rotary wells or coiled tubing sidetracks as appropriate.
As of March 2018, the company was developing Qannik from nine wells - six producers and three injectors. The participating area produced 1,500 barrels per day in 2017, equal to the 2016 rate. The participating area had produced 6.5 million barrels through 2017.