Exploration Update - USA

Significant Light Oil Discovery in Alaska
This article appeared in Vol. 13, No. 6 - 2017


On 4 October 2016, Caelus Energy Alaska indicated that it has made a ‘world class’ oil discovery in Caelus-Tulimaniq 1, also known as CT-1, situated in Block ADL 392275 in the shallow waters of Smith Bay on the north coast of Alaska, about 500 km north of the Arctic Circle and 100 km south-east of Barrow. 

CT-1 and step-out well Caelus-Tulimaniq 2 (CT-2) targeted a large Brookian submarine fan complex that covers over 777 km2. The fan was successfully drilled and logged in both wells, with CT-2 encountering an extension of the accumulation 8.45 km north-west of the original CT-1 discovery. Gross hydrocarbon columns of over 305m were found in each well, with CT-1 and CT-2 logging 56m and 68m of net pay, respectively. Sidewall coring and subsequent lab analyses confirm the presence of reservoir-quality sandstones, containing light oil ranging from 40–45° API gravity. 

The discovery is reported to hold in place reserves of over 6 Bbo and recoverable reserves of 1.8 to 2.4 Bbo and with Caelus expecting to achieve recovery factors in the range of 30–40%, the field could potentially provide 200,000 bopd. A field this size could increase Alaska’s rapidly diminishing oil reserves by as much as 80%. 

Equity is shared between operator Caelus Energy Alaska Smith Bay (75%), L 71 Resources (10%), Nordaq Energy (10%) and Doyon (5%).


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