Abstract

The Milne Point Unit, North Slope Alaska, contains 2X10 9 BBL STOOIP, in the Late Cretaceous Schrader Bluff Formation. This resource is part of a larger viscous oil accumulation in excess of 26X10 9 BBL STOOIP. Exploitation of the Schrader Bluff commenced in 1991 with an initial 22 well development. Resulting capital and operating costs gave the basis for the larger planned development. These cost projections, coupled with low flow rates--350 BBL oil per day (BOPD)--rendered the project uneconomic and drilling ceased in 1992. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (BPXA) acquired Milne Point in 1994 and laid plans to develop the Schrader Bluff and two deeper reservoirs. Most of the current production comes from two deeper reservoirs, however, work on the problematic Schrader Bluff has continued. Learning through innovative drilling and completion programmes, plus additional technological and contractual innovations, are considered the keys to unlocking the value of this vast viscous oil resource.

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