Alaska Potential EFD Applications

The Arctic region in the U.S. North Slope possesses one, if not the greatest opportunity to increase our domestic production; but this region is also one the greatest environmental and logistical challenges to produce oil and gas in the world. A number of studies have shown that the weather patterns in this region are warming and the number of days the tundra is frozen each year has significantly reduced. Operators are not allowed to explore until the tundra is sufficiently frozen and then weather break-up forces a rapid evacuation. Using the best available methods, exploration in remote arctic areas can take up to three years to identify a commercial discovery, and then years to build the infrastructure to develop and produce. This makes exploration cost prohibitive. New technologies are needed or oil and gas resources may never be developed outside limited exploration step-outs from existing infrastructure.

Industry has identified certain low-impact technologies suitable for operations, and has made improvements to reduce the footprint and impact on the environment. Additional improvements are needed for exploration. One operator, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, built a prototype elevated, modular and mobile platform for drilling wells in the arctic. The system was tested while drilling one of the first hydrate exploration wells in Alaska during 2003-2004. This technology was identified as a potentially enabling technology by an on-going Joint Industry Program (JIP) “Environmentally Friendly Drilling” (EFD) headed by Texas A&M University and HARC and co-funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The EFD participants believe that the platform concept could have far reaching application in the Arctic – as a drilling and production platform as originally intended, and also as a possible staging area.

 

 For more information contact:
Rich Haut, HARC, (281) 364-6093 rhaut@harc.edu
Tom Williams, TerraPlatforms, (713) 201-3866, twilliams@afsolutionsinc.com 
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Richard Haut,
Oct 17, 2008, 1:37 PM
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Richard Haut,
Nov 30, 2008, 11:59 AM
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