From Eric Lidji in Petroleum News…
In the biggest step yet taken by an oil company in northern Alaska that doesn’t bear the name BP or ConocoPhillips, Pioneer Natural Resources has begun producing and selling oil from its offshore Oooguruk unit, the company announced on June 9.
The Dallas-based independent expects initial production of 2,000 to 3,000 barrels of oil per day from Oooguruk, developed from two pools, the shallower and smaller Kuparuk pool and the deeper and larger Nuiqsut pool.
Oooguruk sits in the waters of the Beaufort Sea northwest of the Kuparuk River unit, operated by ConocoPhillips. Through an agreement reached between the two companies in February, Oooguruk oil will be processed at the Kuparuk facilities.
Pioneer anticipates peak gross production of 15,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil per day in 2010 from approximately 40 development wells drilled over the next three years at Oooguruk. Over the 25 to 30 year life of the field, Pioneer expects the unit to produce as much as 90 million barrels of oil.
Pioneer owns a 70 percent working interest in Oooguruk. The Italian supermajor Eni Petroleum owns the remaining 30 percent.