Nestled between Giants
Having North America’s two largest oil fields, the North Slope boasts a world-class hydrocarbon system with 16 billion barrels of oil produced in the past 35 years from a variety of play types. There are billions of barrels left to produce and billions more likely yet to be discovered – BRPC has mapped prospective structures in the Southern Miluveach Unit alone with more than a billion barrels in place. BRPC also sees numerous accumulations within its Beechey Point Unit which are under consideration for development and located within a few miles of Prudhoe Bay. In the longer term, lightly explored areas on BRPC acreage south of ExxonMobil’s giant Pt. Thomson development and adjacent to ANWR provide opportunity for several 50-100 million barrel discoveries. All exploration wells drilled in this eastern area have had shows of oil or tested oil but were drilled years ago; new modern 3D seismic and exploration drilling is needed in this area.
From Crumbs of the Majors – Rise of the Independents
The Gulf of Mexico shelf and the U.K. North Sea basin provide the model for what we believe will happen on the North Slope as this oil province matures. The Majors built most of the necessary infrastructure to produce Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk and the satellite fields. As production from the super giants declines, openings are beginning to appear in new large fields – ENI and Pioneer have entered the mix by bringing new production on line in the Oooguruk Field (50-100 MMBO) and smaller explorers such as BRPC are looking for their “Company Maker.”
The pattern of basin evolution with the handoff from the majors to the independents is already playing out on the North Slope and the time is now.
Onshore, Domestic Light Oil
Improvements have been made in regulation and permitting over the past decade, and the political and regulatory structure is known and stable. All of BRPC’s acreage is onshore land owned by the state, which has been consistently pro oil development for decades.
The arctic environment presents unique challenges but partnering with world-class contractors has enabled BRPC to successfully operate exploration drilling on-time and on budget.
Attractive Fiscal Regime for Explorers
While there has been criticism of the state’s taxation of the older fields, Alaska has recognized the need for exploration and new field incentives. The State offers significant tax incentives for exploration through refunding, in cash, roughly 65% of expenditures on seismic programs and 45% on exploration wells.
Unconventional Resource Plays
As technology has been perfected in the Lower 48 source-rock shales for oil and gas commerciality, the massive North Slope source rock shales such as the Shublick and Kingak are being evaluated by BRPC. The possibility for billions of economic barrels – similar to the Bakken Shale - needs to be fully tested.