Caelus claims offshore Arctic oil discovery that could rank among Alaska’s biggest

Caelus Energy Alaska said Tuesday it has made a “world-class” oil discovery that, if estimates prove true, could be one of the largest finds ever in Alaska.

The Smith Bay site, in shallow waters about 50 miles southeast of Barrow, could “provide 200,000 barrels per day of light, highly mobile oil,” the company said in a press release Tuesday.

If correct, that production level would make the field more prolific than ConocoPhillips’ Alpine unit that began production in 2000 and reached a production peak of 139,000 barrels in 2007.

The statement from Caelus does not indicate analysis by a third-party engineering firm. The estimates are the company’s internal numbers, a spokesman said Tuesday morning.

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