Phillips, BP Amoco announce North Slope discovery

Just 2 weeks after it took over ARCO's Alaska assets, Phillips Petroleum Co. and partner BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. have revealed that the Meltwater oil discovery on Alaska's North Slope appears to be major.


Just 2 weeks after it took over ARCO's Alaska assets, Phillips Petroleum Co. and partner BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. have revealed that the Meltwater oil discovery on Alaska's North Slope appears to be major.

The Meltwater North No. 1 well was drilled by ARCO, but Phillips had the pleasure of releasing the details. Phillips's new subsidiary, Phillips Alaska, and BP Exploration (Alaska) say Meltwater could hold as much as 50 million bbl of proven and potential reserves.

On test, Meltwater North No. 1 flowed 4,000 b/d of 37� gravity oil. The well is 10 miles south of Tam oil field in the Greater Kuparuk area. A second exploration well and sidetrack, Meltwater Nos. 2 and 2a, confirmed a northern portion of the reservoir.

Phillips Alaska holds a 58.46% interest in the well, with BP Exploration holding the remainder.

The discovery is the first recorded for the new Phillips Alaska unit, which was formed when Phillips bought ARCO's Alaska assets last month (OGJ, Apr. 24, 2000, p. 26). When BP Amoco merged with ARCO, it sold the assets to satisfy the antitrust concerns of the US Federal Trade Commission. The deal gave Phillips an additional 340,000 b/d of oil production and 2.2 billion bbl of oil and gas reserves.

Phillips Alaska officially started business last week, after Phillips split its exploration and production operations and shook up its management hierarchy.

The Meltwater acreage was purchased in June 1998 in the first area-wide lease sale conducted by Alaska. Meltwater could become the fourth Kuparuk River satellite field to begin production. West Sak field began production in 1997, and the Tam and Tabasco fields began flowing oil in 1998. In 1999, Kuparuk field was estimated to be producing close to 250,000 b/d of oil, a Phillips spokeswoman said.

Changes at Phillips
On Monday, Phillips unveiled plans for a management shake-up after completing its purchase of ARCO's Alaskan oil and gas assets. The firm has broken up its exploration and production business into two divisions: one to oversee Alaska, the second to manage Phillips's other worldwide operations.

Kevin Meyers, former president and CEO of ARCO Alaska Inc., has been named senior vice-president of Phillips and president and CEO of Phillips Alaska. Meyers and other new officers appointed in the shake-up took over their new positions Monday.

B.Z. Parker, who has served as executive vice-president of downstream operations, has become executive vice-president responsible for worldwide production and operations except for Alaska. Phillip's board of directors also elected Todd DeCamp vice-president of worldwide exploration at Phillips; DeCamp had been vice-president of exploration for ARCO.

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