Monday, September 12, 2011

Repsol prepares to start work on its various lease holdings

Tim Bradner
Alaska Journal of Commerce

Spanish major Repsol is planning an aggressive North Slope exploration drilling program this winter to evaluate almost half a million onshore and offshore acres in leases acquired last March from two independents, Armstrong Oil and Gas and GMT Exploration.

Repsol told the state Division of Oil and Gas it will soon file surface applications to build ice pads for four onshore location and one offshore location, according to John Easton, surface permit coordinator for the state Division of Oil and Gas.

“We expect their ice pad applications soon, but they have already filed an application to build 60 miles of ice road, about 30 miles onshore and 30 miles onshore,” Easton said.

Repsol holds offshore outer continental shelf leases acquired in the federal 2008 Chukchi Sea OCS Lease Sale 193, but has expanded to a program near the producing North Slope onshore fields with the acquisition of 494,211 acres on 157 state of Alaska leases from Armstrong and GMT.

Some 84 of those leases are set to expire between 2012 and 2014, which is what has motivated the company to get busy with exploration this winter, state officials said on background.

Repsol will file permits for one vertical well and two lateral sidetracks at each location, although not all of these wells may be drilled, the state officials said.

Two other companies, both independents, also plan exploration wells this winter. Australia-based Linc Energy plans to drill on federal leases at Umiat, a known oil accumulation on the Colville River at the southeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The company is now making arrangements to move a drill rig to the site.

Brooks Range Petroleum, an Alaska-based independent, plans to conduct a production test at its North Tarn discovery made last year, and hopes too drill two other wells to delineate the discovery if the production test turns out well, said Jim Winegarner, the company’s lands and external affairs manager.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. also plans a production test at a gas discovery the company made two years ago in the southern foothills region of the North Slope, the company has said previously. The well was not tested at the time it was drilled because of seasonal constraints on surface activity.

This article republished with the permission of the Alaska Journal of Commerce.