ExxonMobil has started production at its Point Thomson gas project on Alaska’s North Slope.
The facilities are initially designed to produce around 5,000 barrels per day of condensate and 100 million cubic feet (2.8 million cubic metres) per day of recycled gas, the company said in a statement. The recycled gas is then re-injected for future recovery, ExxonMobil added.
At full capacity, the project will be able to produce up to 10,000 bpd of condensate and 200 mmcf (5.7 mcm) per day of recycled gas, ExxonMobil said.
Construction is due to be completed within a few months’ time, when the west pad well comes on line, the super-major added.
Point Thomson is the first project operated by the company on Alaska’s North Slope, though it is one of the top three oil producers in the region through its participation in projects operated by BP and ConocoPhillips.
The Point Thomson reservoir holds an estimated 8 trillion cubic feet (226.6 billion cubic metres) of natural gas and associated condensate, representing 25% of the known gas on the North Slope, according to ExxonMobil.
Future development of the project will depend on a number of factors, including the fiscal and regulatory environment, as well as the investment climate.
“Our strong partnership with Alaskans and Alaska-owned companies played a critical role in helping to complete this major project,” said ExxonMobil Development’s president, Neil Duffin.
“It further reinforces our commitment to pursuing the development of Alaska’s natural gas resources,” he added, saying that the North Slope was a challenging and remote operating environment.
ExxonMobil and its partners have invested roughly US$4 billion in developing the Point Thomson facilities to date.
Point Thomson is located along the Beaufort Sea, 60 miles (97 km) east of Prudhoe Bay – the US’ largest conventional oilfield – and 60 miles west of the village of Kaktovik.
The State of Alaska offers exploration incentives to companies, including a benefit that up to 85% of exploration expenditure can be cash refundable. But despite this, several Alaskan oil projects have suffered in recent months, following the collapse in oil prices.