Brooks Range moves to develop Mustang discovery on Slope
Alaska-based independent Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. has made a discovery at its “Mustang” oil prospect west of the Kuparuk River field on the North Slope, a company official said April 18.
Meanwhile, Repsol is finishing up its first winter North Slope exploration season. The company was able to drill two of three wells that were planned for the winter. Drilling was cancelled for the season at the third well, where a shallow gas blowout forced the suspension of operations.
Brooks Range believes Mustang will produce about 13,000 barrels a day at peak and that more than 40 million barrels of oil will be recovered, Bart Armfield, Brooks Range Petroleum’s chief operating officer, said in an interview.
Plans are for first production in early 2014, Armfield said. Development costs are estimated to be between $600 million and $800 million.
“We’re now moving toward development. There’s just a lot of paperwork to do with permits for gravel work with the Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency,” and other government agencies, he said.
Mustang is located within 700 feet of the existing Alpine field pipeline, however, which will enable Brooks Range to do a fast-track development by North Slope standards.
Armfield said Brooks Range is also evaluating a nearby prospect it calls Appaloosa, which could add to reserves.
The company is talking with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a state development corporation, on possible participation in a small oil and gas processing facility for the field, Armfield said.
Brooks Range is jointly owned by Alaska Venture Capital Group, itself jointly owned by a group of small Lower 48 independents, and Ramshorn Investments, owned by Nabors Industries.
The company has been exploring on the North Slope for several years and is working with a number of other prospects in addition to Mustang and Appalosa. A small oil discovery was made at Beechey Point just north of the Prudhoe Bay field but reserves so far are too limited to justify development.
Another prospect, Telemark, is near the Point Thomson gas and condensate field east of Prudhoe. Brooks Range is now evaluating Telemark, Ken Thompson, managing director for AVCG, said in a previous interview.
Repsol had planned for a more ambitious first exploration season on the slope but plans were stymied by a shortage of drilling rigs and, finally, by the shallow gas blowout at the company’s Qugruk No. 2 well on the Colville Delta.
Qugruk No. 4, an offshore test north of the delta and to the northwest of Qugruk No. 2, was completed and demobilization activities were under way in late April, according to Repsol spokesman Jan Sieving.
The second well that was completed was Kachemak No. 1, an onshore well south of the Kuparuk River field and east of Tarn, a small “satellite” field to Kuparuk, Sieving said.
Work on another test, Qugruk No. 1, was done but the well was not completed this year, he said. Plans are to return to Qugruk No. 1 next year.
Repsol has not released any results of its winter drilling.