ExxonMobil to spend $253 million on Point Thomson project


ExxonMobil to spend $253 million on Point Thomson project

ANCHORAGE -- ExxonMobil reportedly plans to spend $253 million to construct a new 22-mile Point Thompson export pipeline as part of its ongoing construction efforts on Alaska’s North Slope. Other recent construction at Point Thomson included the installation of modules for a permanent work camp at the project’s central pad in April 2013.

The pipeline, which will run west along the North Slope’s coast, will transport Point Thompson’s liquids production to the producing Badami Unit. Once at Badami, the liquids will be transported through the Badami pipeline to connect with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).

ExxonMobil will produce natural gas condensate from the Point Thomson field. Initial production of natural gas condensate is expected at a rate of 10,000 bbl a day by May 2016. The planned pipeline will have a capacity of 70,000 bbl per day, with its surplus capacity allowing for greater future development and production in the region.

While the initial rate of production is small in comparison to the North Slope's overall production of 550,000-plus bopd, the Point Thomson project is considered to be only the initial stage of a potential multibillion-dollar effort to fully exploit one of the largest, and potentially last, undeveloped fields in North America. The Point Thomson oil and gas field stretches across the shore of the Beaufort Sea, roughly 60 mi east of Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope.

The Point Thomson project will include three drill pads. The central pad will host the process and compression equipment needed to produce the natural gas condensate. To date, two wells have been drilled on the central pad, according to Anchorage Daily News. ExxonMobil plans to expand the existing 13-acre central pad at Point Thomson to 56 acres.

Further infrastructure development is planned for this summer, including the commissioning of the camp, completion and certification of an airstrip, and installation of a permanent service pier, reported Examiner.com.

Point Thomson was recently cleared for development following a lengthy legal battle between the state of Alaska and ExxonMobil over a decades-long lack of development at the field, considered the largest undeveloped oil and gas field on the North Slope, according to Alaska Dispatch. The field is estimated to hold a potential 8 Tcf of natural gas, an estimated quarter of the total known reserves in the region, as well as hundreds of millions of bbl of oil.

According to Alaska Dispatch, ExxonMobil's Point Thomson project could be worth upwards of $100 billion, if the estimated quantities of oil and gas in the field prove true. Nearby operator Polar Petroleum said it takes this as very promising news for its own North Point Thomson project, which lies along the northern border of ExxonMobil's Point Thomson project. The company is currently working with geologists to conduct a geological study on the oil and gas potential of its North Point Thomson Project.

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