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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The Explorers 2016: Caelus taking a risk on Smith Bay

Caelus Energy LLC offers a reason for concern and a reason for hope.

A local subsidiary of the Texas-based independent is slowing its development of the Nuna satellite at its Oooguruk unit because persistently low oil prices and the resulting political uncertainty have challenged the economics of that North Slope project.

At the same time, the company proceeded with a two-well exploration program in an even more remote and challenging region of Smith Bay farther west – a region that could only be developed economically if oil prices rise considerably over the near future

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Caelus credits tax system for Alaska involvement

Jim Musselman, president and CEO of Caelus Energy, and his colleagues only decided to enter the Alaska oil industry after the passage of Senate Bill 21, the law reforming Alaska’s oil production tax system, Casey Sullivan, director of public affairs for Caelus Energy Alaska LLC, told the Resource Development Council’s annual conference on Nov. 19. And, since entering the state, the company has followed up on a commitment to move swiftly ahead with its Alaska program, Sullivan said.

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Caelus aims to unlock vast Torok oil resource

Exploring for oil is never a business for the faint-hearted, particularly when oil prices are at $50 per barrel combined with the risk of ever changing tax policies. It takes a stout heart and plenty of nerve.

Jim Musselman and his team aren’t new, by any means, to exploration and development, and they’re making moves in Alaska.

Caelus Energy, a Dallas-based small independent where Musselman is CEO, has big plans on the North Slope, and Musselman has a big track record. He led the discovery and development of the giant Jubilee field offshore of Ghana when he headed Kosmos Energy, and he believes big discoveries, similar to Jubilee, can still be made on the Slope.

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Caelus hopes to extract millions of barrels of oil through North Slope fracking

State officials hope North Slope newcomer Caelus Energy Alaska can crack the code on a tricky oil prospect along the Arctic Ocean and lay the groundwork for similar opportunities scattered across the region.

Success at the Nuna field west of Prudhoe Bay, where Caelus will employ fracking techniques developed in the Lower 48 shale boom, could have widespread benefits if lessons learned can be applied to other fields with oil trapped in “tight” rock with little porosity, state officials said.

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Caelus sanctions Nuna development

Caelus Energy has given formal approval for its new $1.5 billion Nuna oil project on the North Slope and has started construction, the company confirmed Friday.

A letter notifying the state Department of Natural Resources of the approval was sent to the agency March 10 to satisfy a requirement of a temporary state royalty modification for the Nuna project.

Gravel mining and hauling for a 2.5-mile access road and 22-acre drillsite began Jan. 25, Caelus Vice President Pat Foley told state Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford in the letter.

The road and pad are to be finished this winter, with construction of production facilities planned for next year, company spokesman Casey Sullivan said in an interview.

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State North Slope lease bids quadruple results from 2013

The State of Alaska received significant interest in North Slope oil and gas leases during its 2014 lease sale.

A total of 356 bids were submitted for 298 tracts, including 297 for the North Slope onshore leases, 57 for the Beaufort Sea and 2 for the North Slope foothills. High bids totaled $59.7 million, said Division of Oil and Gas Director Bill Barron at the end of the bid opening.

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Oil lease sale on Alaska’s North Slope draws big money

Oil companies spent big money Wednesday for rights to explore the Colville River Delta and other state territory, making this year’s North Slope auction the richest Alaska state lease sale in 21 years.

Led by the most aggressive bidders — privately held Caelus Energy and 70 & 148 LLC — companies and investors submitted $54.5 million in high bids for tracts comprising 524,387 acres of state and Native-owned onshore territory on the central North Slope, according to preliminary sale results. It was the most received in a single Alaska Division of Oil and Gas lease sale since 1993, when companies ponied up more than $65.2 million for exploration acreage in the Cook Inlet basin.

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The Producers 2014: Caelus seeks to expand pioneering Oooguruk field

Caelus Energy LLC is part of a new trend in Alaska oil and gas development.

Traditionally, new entrants to the state would acquire acreage in lease sales, shoot a seismic campaign, drill exploration wells, sanction development, incrementally expand into satellites and eventually conduct a series of enhanced recovery programs.

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