ConocoPhillips Alaska announced Friday that it achieved first oil production on Thursday from Fiord West Kuparuk reservoir, just a month after setting a new drilling record for a land-based rig.
Doyon 26, the largest mobile land rig in North America (also known as “The Beast,”) is a technologically advanced rig that can drill beyond 40,000 feet, which substantially extends the reach from a single pad. The Beast can develop 154 square miles of reservoir from a 14-acre drilling pad, versus 55 square miles with conventional rigs.
“This project opens a new era we call ‘growth without gravel’ where we can use extended reach technology to access 60 percent more acreage from a single pad, dramatically reducing our footprint and enabling us to safely produce from environmentally sensitive areas,” said Erec Isaacson, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska.
The well, CD2-310, was decades in the making and planning started in 1998. An injection well that will be pre-produced for 5-6 months prior to being converted to permanent injection service, it will give the company a lot of data that can help optimize the design of the next well. The well’s flowrate is being progressively increased and is currently producing close to 10,000 barrels per day, exceeding expectations.
“Extended reach technology has been a game changer for ConocoPhillips,” said Vincent Lelarge, vice president for Alaska asset development. “It’s how we are able to responsibility develop fields like Fiord West Kuparuk with minimal footprint on the tundra and the surrounding environment.”
Lelarge said ConocoPhillips has worked collaboratively on the Doyon 26 rig since 2011 when use of an extended reach drilling rig was being evaluated. From front-end engineering and design studies to our ConocoPhillips Canada colleagues collaborating with Doyon Drilling during construction, the rig arrived on the North Slope of Alaska in 2020.
Fiord West Kuparuk is located in the Colville River Unit and is 100 percent owned and operated by ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.