ConocoPhillips, BP to Expand West Sak Heavy Oil Development

ConocoPhillips and BP announced plans for the largest-ever heavy oil development program in Alaska. This program will increase West Sak oil field production to approximately 45,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) by 2007.

West Sak is a large, shallow, heavy oil accumulation that overlies much of the ConocoPhillips-operated Kuparuk field on Alaska's North Slope. Current field production from West Sak averages about 10,000 BOPD.

The development program will include two drill sites within the Kuparuk River Unit: Drill Site1E, which is an existing drill site, and Drill Site 1J, which will be the first stand-alone West Sak drill site. The development program is expected to cost approximately $500 million and will generate more than 850 jobs in Alaska during the peak construction phase in 2005.

Plans call for the drilling of 13 West Sak wells at Drill Site 1E and 31 wells at Drill Site 1J. The development program also includes expansion of facilities at Drill Site 1E, and the construction of new facilities, pipelines and power lines for Drill Site 1J. Expansion of Drill Site 1E is expected to add about 10,000 BOPD, with first production anticipated this summer. Development of Drill Site 1J will add about 30,000 BOPD, with first production expected in late 2005 and peak production in 2007.

First-year average production rates from a typical West Sak well have climbed from a few hundred barrels of oil per day in 1997 to more than 1,500 BOPD today. The increase in production rates is a result of advanced drilling technologies such as multilateral wells, which have multiple producing well bores, and the use of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies that make it possible to extract more oil from the reservoir. Extensive technical cooperation by ConocoPhillips and BP also has contributed to the recent advance in the production and development of heavy oil resources at West Sak and the BP-operated Orion and Milne Point fields.

ConocoPhillips Alaska operates the West Sak field, which will be owned by ConocoPhillips (52 percent), BP (37 percent), ExxonMobil (5.8 percent), Unocal (5.0 percent) and ChevronTexaco (0.1 percent).