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Drilling recommences at Point Thomson in Alaska

Oilfield Technology,

The company drilled each of the wells, PTU-15 and PTU-16, to approximately 5000 ft during the summer, as deep as possible during the ice-free season. Drilling into deeper formations is only permitted during the period from 1 November – 15 April.

This drilling programme follows a summer work programme, which safely delivered over 30 000 t of fuel, equipment and supplies in 120 barge runs from the Prudhoe Bay West Dock, approximately 60 miles west of the Point Thomson drilling site.

Progress at Point Thomson
‘We are on schedule to start production in 2014,’ said Dale Pittman, Alaska Production Manager for ExxonMobil. ‘The development plan we are pursuing will bring Point Thomson resources on production in a prudent, efficient and timely manner. We are working to resolve the unit and lease dispute with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure Point Thomson's development continues.’

He also noted, ‘The project owners have invested more than US$ 300 million to date, 80% of which has been spent in Alaska. We have accomplished this work while maintaining the safety of our workforce and protection of the sensitive environment.’

Point Thomson is a natural gas and condensate field located on Alaska's North Slope. It holds an estimated 8 trillion ft3 of gas – approximately 25% of the North Slope's gas resource - and approximately 200 million bbls of condensate. Development of these resources will present significant technical challenges, including drilling and production of a high pressure gas reservoir.

Future gas pipeline potential
The project will process 200 million ft3/d of natural gas in order to produce approximately 10 000 bpd of liquid condensate into the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, with capacity for up to 10 000 additional bpd of oil. After processing, the natural gas will be recycled into the reservoir, making Point Thomson the highest pressure gas cycling operation in the world. Gas from the Point Thomson field will play a key role to underpin a future Alaskan gas pipeline project.

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