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Crude oil production has begun at the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 prospect, operated by Conoco, in Alaska’s North Slope, the company said as quoted by Reuters. Output is estimated to peak at between 25,000 and 30,000 bpd.
The GMT 1 is the second producing prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska after CD5, another field operated by Conoco. Now the company will start developing a nearby site, Greater Mooses Tooth 2. Production there could start by 2021, with peak rates of 35,000 to 40,000 bpd.
Conoco is the largest oil producer in Alaska, and earlier this year the company announced the discovery of an estimated 750 million barrels in crude oil and gas resources in the Greater Willow Area, also in the National Petroleum Reserve in the North Slope. The Greater Mooses Tooth 1 is part of the Greater Willow Area.
At the time, the company said that developing these reserves would cost between US$2 and US$3 billion after the final investment decision is made. Conoco plans to take it by 2021 with first oil from this deposit seen to start flowing three years later.
Many companies have left Alaska as its fields go into natural decline, but Conoco is still big there and has no plans to pull out, despite high taxes that hit production alongside declining rates and despite the opening up of more easily accessible reserves elsewhere in the States. As the Motley Fool wrote in July, after the announcement of the Greater Willow Area discovery, the focus on Alaska has paid off.
Besides the 750 million barrels of oil and gas in that area, Conoco also struck another 100-350 million barrels of oil equivalent in two new prospects in the state. These will be appraised in 2019, the company said. And then it will have another 85 percent of its acreage in Alaska to explore.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.