Monday, October 3, 2011

Prudhoe Bay Oil Field

After more than 30 years of production, Prudhoe Bay remains the largest oil field in North America, covering 213,543 acres (86,418 ha),  ranks among the 20 largest fields ever discovered. When production started at the Prudhoe Bay field the recovery rate of the 25 billion barrels of oil in place was expected to reach 40 percent. Today, using new technologies that estimate has increased to more than 60 percent. The initial producing area of Prudhoe Bay field has produced more than 12 billion barrels, of which BP's net cumulative production is approximately 4.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). Production from the Prudhoe Bay initial producing area averaged approximately 314,000 BOE per day in 2008. The Energy Information Administration estimates the field also contains an estimated recoverable 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in an overlying gas cap and in solution with the oil.

Prudhoe Bay Map
The field is located 400 miles (640 km) north of Fairbanks and 650 miles (1,050 km) north of Anchorage, 250 miles (400 km) north of the Arctic Circle, and 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from the North Pole.

Prudhoe Bay produces from the Sadlerochit sandstone formation, nearly 9,000 feet below sea level. The oil bearing column is 500 feet thick in some areas. The Greater Prudhoe Bay Area, which includes the fields of Prudhoe Bay, its satellite fields and the Greater Point McIntyre Area fields, in total produce about 392,000 BOE per day. Cumulative production has exceeded 13 billion barrels.

Prudhoe Bay was discovered in 1968 and came on-stream June 20, 1977. Production averaged more than 1.5 million barrels of oil and gas liquids per day for more than a decade. Prudhoe Bay satellites Satellite fields are smaller accumulations of oil that can often be developed using existing infrastructure. The average daily production from Prudhoe Bay satellites is about 45,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

 There are five satellite fields currently producing and the liquids are processed through the field's main facilities. Aurora and Borealis satellite fields produce from similar formations. Midnight Sun produces from a sandstone formation at 8,000 feet below sea level. Orion and Polaris fields both produce the difficult heavy oil from the Schrader Bluff formation, at depths of 4,000 to 5,000 feet below sea level. By using advanced drilling technologies we are growing this important resource. The Prudhoe Bay satellite fields have produced more than 118 million barrels of oil equivalent. 

Prudhoe Bay renewal completed replacing 16-miles of oil transit lines and put these lines into service in late 2008. The project included rebuilding the main Prudhoe Bay oil delivery system, pigging modules, corrosion inhibitor injection facilities, state-of-the-art leak detection, metering facilities and all the affiliated electrical and emergency systems. This $500 million project incorporates the best technology and materials to ensure safe operations. 

Prudhoe Bay Oil Production 

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