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NPR-A: Greater Mooses Tooth Unit, Flat Top #1 Exploration Activity

Doyon 141 Rig
Doyon Rig #141, what many in the industry refer to as 'the best rig in Alaska', in action rigged up to pressure test the surface casing. A brand new twin to this rig is said to be in progess, which may be destined for more NPR-A work.

The sun is shining and the ice is shiny up here at the Flat Top drill-site, where ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. (CPAI) is battling a milder than usual season in a race to complete and demobilize operations before the exploration ice road thaws. Flat Top well #1 is just a few miles from the proposed GMT-1 drill site location, the first proposed development drilling operation in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).

The Flat Top #1 well is the second NPR-A exploration well drilled by CPAI this season, and is the final well to be drilled in NPR-A this year. CPAI finished drilling the first portion of this exploration well on March 20th and set and cemented surface casing into the next day. BLM-Alaska’s Energy and Minerals Branch posts a certified Federal Oil and Gas Inspector onsite to observe key portions of these exploration operations to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements as well as to verify adequate subsurface protection of the fragile permafrost and other valuable resources. After witnessing successful testing of the rigs blowout prevention equipment, BLM’s inspector returned safely to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska across the exploration ice road.

The Flat Top reservoir will likely be the first federal royalty-bearing Participating Area developed from the proposed GMT-1 drill site, and NPR-A, if the results of this exploratory drilling are favorable. This is the first look into this unexplored area within the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit.



 Caterpiller 870 gravel hauler enters the Colville River ice bridge crossing  red fox
A Caterpiller 870 gravel hauler enters the Colville River ice bridge crossing, several miles east of the NPR-A border, with a load of gravel destined for CPAI’s CD-5 drill site project, currently under construction just east of NPR-A. In the distance the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) gravel mine site (right) and Alpine–Kuparuk pipeline (center, left). The GMT-1 drill site is designed as a satellite to the Alpine Central Processing Facility to minimize surface impacts within the NPR-A.  A Red Fox watches on as ice road traffic passes by.

Last updated: 07-22-2016