The Alpine Capacity Expansion Project Phase 2 (ACX2) will be completed by mid-2005. ACX2 will increase both the oil handling and seawater injection capacities of the Alpine oil field facilities. The $58 million (gross) ACX2 project follows the previously announced ACX1 project, which will start up later this year.
The two expansion projects are important for increasing oil production and maintaining reservoir pressure. To date, 81 wells -- 39 production and 42 injection -- of the planned 94 wells have been completed at the two Alpine drill sites. Alpine has been developed exclusively with horizontal well technology and employs enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The field's unique design and the use of EOR will help extract more oil from the reservoir.
The 40,000-acre field was developed on just 97 acres, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the field area. In addition, Alpine is a near zero-discharge facility. The waste generated is reused, recycled or properly disposed. There is no permanent road to the field; in the winter, ice roads are constructed to allow transportation of equipment and drilling supplies to the site. These roads minimize environmental impacts, because in the spring the ice roads melt, leaving no trace on the tundra. Small aircraft also provide service to the field.
The Alpine discovery was declared commercial in 1996. Alpine is the largest onshore oil field discovered in the United States in more than a decade. It also is the westernmost producing oil field on Alaska's North Slope. The field is located in the Colville River area, 34 miles west of the Kuparuk River field, near the border of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
ConocoPhillips Alaska operates the Alpine field, which is owned 78 percent by ConocoPhillips and 22 percent by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
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