With an estimated 6-10 billion barrels of oil in place, Smith Bay ranks as one of the world’s largest oil discoveries in recent years, and the largest on Alaska’s North Slope in four decades. The Smith Bay development has the potential to provide 200,000 barrels/day of light oil to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), which would increase TAPS throughput by 40 percent (based on 2016 flow rates) and extend the pipeline’s long-term viability by reducing the average viscosity of its oil.
The estimates are based on the two wells drilled last winter and existing 126 square miles of 3D seismic. Exploratory well Caelus-Tulimaniq #1 (CT-1) and step-out Caelus-Tulimaniq #2 (CT-2) targeted a large Brookian submarine fan complex in Smith Bay, spanning more than 300 square miles along the North Slope region. The fan was successfully drilled and logged in both wells, encountering an extension of the accumulation 5.25 miles northwest of the CT-1 discovery at the CT-2 location. Gross hydrocarbon columns in excess of 1,000 feet were encountered in each well, with CT-1 and CT-2 logging 183 and 223 feet of net pay respectively.
Extensive sidewall coring and subsequent lab analyses confirm the presence of reservoir-quality sandstones containing light oil ranging from 40-45° API gravity.
Caelus is currently planning an appraisal program, which includes drilling an additional appraisal well and acquiring new 3D seismic survey over outboard acreage.
Caelus owns a 75 percent working interest ownership in 26 leases covering 117,000 acres in Smith Bay, about 150 miles west of Prudhoe Bay and about 90 miles east of Barrow. The acreage is on state land offshore from the federal National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Smith Bay was named for a Hudson Bay Company fur trader.