Caelus Energy discovers ‘significant’ oil reservoir in Alaska

Caelus Energy Alaska announced Tuesday that the company has made a “significant light oil discovery” on its Smith Bay state leases on the North Slope of Alaska.

Based on two wells drilled in early 2016 as well as 126-sq.-mi. of 3-D seismic data, Caelus estimates the oil in place under the current leasehold to be 6 billion bbls. When adjoining acreage is included, the company believes the Smith Bay fan complex may contain upwards of 10 billion bbls. and estimates recovery factors “in the range of 30-40 percent.”

“This discovery could be really exciting for the state of Alaska,” Caelus CEO Jim Musselman said in a statement. “It has the size and scale to play a meaningful role in sustaining the Alaskan oil business over the next three or four decades.”

Caelus said the Smith Bay development has the potential to “provide 200,000 barrels per day of light, highly mobile oil,” but noted that the well had not been flow tested “due to seasonal time constraints.”

The estimates released by Caelus are based on internal calculations and have not been analyzed by a third-party engineering firm, the company confirmed to the Alaska Dispatch News.

The company said it was planning an appraisal program to drill an additional appraisal well and expand its 3-D seismic survey.

Caelus owns 75% of the leases at Smith Bay with partners NordAq Energy Inc. holding 17.5% and L71 Resources holding 7.5%.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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