ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Caelus Energy Alaska Smith Bay LLC characterized its recent light oil discovery on its Smith Bay state leases on the North Slope of Alaska as “significant.”
The Smith Bay development has the potential to provide 200,000 b/d of light, highly mobile oil which Caelus said would both increase the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) throughput volumes and reduce the average viscosity of oil in the pipeline, extending its long-term viability.
Based on two wells drilled earlier this year, as well as 126 sq mi (326 sq km) of existing 3D seismic, the company estimates the oil in place under the current leasehold to be 6 Bbbl. Furthermore, the Smith Bay fan complex may contain upwards of 10 Bbbl of oil in place when the adjoining acreage is included.
Due to the “favorable fluids” contained in the reservoir, it expects to achieve recovery factors in the range of 30-40%. Additional drilling and seismic should improve estimates of oil in place via delineation of undrilled fan lobes and channel complexes imaged on the original 3D seismic, the company said.
Caelus is currently planning an appraisal program which will include drilling an additional appraisal well and acquiring a new 3D seismic survey over outboard acreage. Beyond confirming reservoir continuity, optimizing future drilling locations, and ultimately increase reserves. In parallel, Caelus is studying and planning the facilities build out which will process and transport the oil to TAPS.
The two exploration wells, Caelus-Tulimaniq #1 (CT-1) and step-out Caelus-Tulimaniq #2 (CT-2) targeted a large Brookian submarine fan complex spanning more than 300 sq mi (777 sq km). The fan was successfully drilled and logged in both wells, encountering an extension of the accumulation more than 5 mi (8 km) northwest of the CT-1 discovery at the CT-2 location. Gross hydrocarbon columns in excess of 1,000 ft (305 m) were encountered in each well, with CT-1 and CT-2 logging 183 ft and 223 ft (56 m and 68 m) of net pay, respectively.
Neither well was flow-tested due to seasonal time constraints, but extensive sidewall coring and subsequent lab analyses confirm the presence of reservoir-quality sandstones containing light oil ranging from 40-45° API gravity.
Caelus’ partners in Smith Bay include NordAq Energy, Inc. (17.5% working interest) and L71 Resources, LLC (7.5% working interest).