Bulletin Article

7968
 

Umiat field in northern Alaska is a shallow, light-oil accumulation with an estimated original oil in place of more than 1.5 billion bbl and 99 bcf associated gas. The field, discovered in 1946, was never considered viable because it is shallow, in permafrost, and far from any infrastructure. Modern drilling and production techniques now make Umiat a more attractive target if the behavior of a rock, ice, and light oil system at low pressure can be understood and simulated.

The Umiat reservoir consists of shoreface and deltaic sandstones of the Cretaceous Nanushuk Formation deformed by a thrust-related anticline. Depositional environment imparts a strong vertical and horizontal permeability anisotropy to the reservoir that may be further complicated by diagenesis and open natural fractures.

Experimental and theoretical studies indicate that there is a significant reduction in the relative permeability of oil in the presence of ice, with a maximum reduction when connate water is fresh and less reduction when water is saline. A representative Umiat oil sample was reconstituted by comparing the composition of a severely weathered Umiat fluid to a theoretical Umiat fluid composition derived using the Pedersen method. This sample was then used to determine fluid properties at reservoir conditions such as bubble point pressure, viscosity, and density.

These geologic and engineering data were integrated into a simulation model that indicate recoveries of 12%–15% can be achieved over a 50-yr production period using cold gas injection from five well pads with a wagon-wheel configuration of multilateral wells.

Explorer Article

9502
 
Explorer Article

Mystery of the deep: No one knows for sure what quantity of gas hydrates awaits discovery deep in the earth, but projections are auspicious.

8583
 
Explorer Article

On March 27, 1964, Mike Mitchell and others were in the field working on a research project with professor Ruth Schmidt from the geology department at ACC when they experienced the Great Alaskan Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in recorded U.S. history.

8580
 
Explorer Article

Ruth Schmidt, one of the first 100 women members of AAPG, is celebrated for her brilliant and adventurous career geologic career.

Explorer Division Column EMD

3800
 

Every six months, chairs of the Energy Minerals Division committees convene and report on developments in the areas they cover. In this column, we highlight important observations from these recent reports.

Explorer Emphasis

8053
 
Explorer Emphasis Article

A multi-client seismic database maps prospects and pitfalls in the largely uncharted Arctic North Slope.

3794
 

Icebreaking vessels are the key to navigating the Arctic, and so are in high demand as oil producers set their sights on the vast oil reserves at the top of the world.

3792
 
Explorer Emphasis Article

Oil spills are a potential challenge in any corner of the world, but the Arctic brings its own set of challenges to oil production and transportation, and so it needs its own dedicated technologies for meeting them.

3790
 

Arctic pioneers will relate their lessons and experiences from exploring and producing in the frozen north at the third annual Arctic Technology Conference this month in Houston.

Explorer Historical Highlight

10218
 

The history of oil development in Alaska is often presented as a heroic tale, but long before the 1968 discovery of the Prudhoe Bay field (16 billion barrels and counting), the industry experience was marked by a great deal of frustration and failure.

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