While Arco Alaska Inc. proceeds with the first follow-up to its Kuvlum discovery well in the Beaufort Sea, Arco Exploration & Production Technology (AEPT) engineers in Plano, Tex., are laying plans for development of the field. Assuming the follow-up well and another planned for this year's drilling season confirm the size of the strike, platforms that follow will have to contend not only with 100 ft thick moving ice floes but also, because of proximity to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with minimizing the onshore footprint. As many as three large platforms may be required to develop the field, Arco planners say. And because o...

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