East Liberty

Off-shore, Western North Slope


  • Key Features
    • Multiple Exploration Targets from Tertiary thru Pre-Mississippian.
    • First-in-Line Position for oil migration from the north.
    • Project area borders the Liberty Unit (125 MMBO) and lies 1 mile northwest of the Badami Unit (60 MMBO).
    • Badami #2: tested 373 BOPD from Canning Formation.
    • W. Mikkelsen St. #1: tested 302 BOPD (26 API) from Canning Fm.
    • W. Mikkelsen U. #2: had oil in Canning Formation in a conventional core.
    • W. Mikkelsen U. #4: had 35 barrels of 21 API oil in upper Kekiktuk and flowed 1.328 BWPD in lower.
  • Leases
    • ADL 391638, 391639, 391640, 391641   (5/31/2018)
    • ADL 392136   (?/?/2022)

Geologic Summary by: D. T. Gross / D. W. Brizzolara (3/15/2012)


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The East Liberty Project is comprised of four tracts totaling 9,600 acres and one tract of 2,560 acres (BS 2011W Sale) which are located upon the crest of the Barrow Arch, giving a project total of approximately 12,100 acres. Water depths in this area range from 0’ to 25’. The project acreage is immediately adjacent to the eastern boundary of the Liberty Unit, is one mile north of the Badami Unit, and is seven miles east- southeast of the Duck Island Unit. The Liberty Unit is presently planning to utilize extended reach drilling in order to produce the 125 million barrels of oil assigned to its Mississippian Kekiktuk Formation. The Badami Field initially began production in August of 1998 but was shut down in the fall of 2007 and only now has re-started production. This 60+ MMBO field and has yielded 5.7 MMBO and 39 BCFG to date. The Endicott Field (Duck Island Unit) has produced 471 MMBO and 2.8 TCFG, primarily from the Kekiktuk but with a contribution from the L. Triassic Sadlerochit-Ivishak.

The Badami Field was discovered in 1990 by Conoco when their Badami #1 well drilled to 13,595’ MD (12,911’ TVD) and had a drillstem test of over 4,000 BOPD from Brookian turbidite sands (Tertiary). These pay sands were encountered between 9,500’ and 11,500’ MD and were described as being very fine-to-fine grained and moderately sorted with porosities of 15-21%, permeabilities of 1-400 md, and oil gravity of 21-30 degrees API. Original recoverable reserves in these turbidites were placed at 120 MMBO, but were reduced to 60 MMBO after subsequent drilling and production showed that the reservoir sands are complex, consisting of 61 identified fans laid down during seven depositional events. The field was shut-in in 2007 when production dropped to 1,300 BOPD from six straighthole wells. In 2008, Savant (90%) and ASRC (10%) formed a deal with BP in which Savant would drill one new development well (#B1-18A horizontal sidetrack) and one exploration well (Red Wolf #B1-38). The exploration well found oil in its primary objective (Kekiktuk Formation) and in a shallower secondary objective (Late Cretaceous Killian sands). Despite a reserve estimate for the Kekiktuk accumulation in the #B1-38 well of 45 MMBO, the Killian horizon was selected to be part of the re-start production which included the new #B1-18A redevelopment well and four previous producers. Savant projected that the combined production from all six wells would eventually be more than 4,000 BOPD. (The November, 2011 daily production stood at just over 1,000 BOPD.) Presently, Savant has a workover rig operating on the #B1-21 well which will move next to the #B1-16 well. They have also recently obtained a rig in order to drill the Red Wolf #2 well, a 12,000’ straighthole test of the Kekiktuk Formation on the northwestern side of the unit and outside of the Badami Sands PA.

There are five key wells adjacent to the East Liberty Project leasehold. Three of these wells were drilled within the West Mikkelsen Unit that was formed by Shell Oil in August of 1978 and dissolved in January of 1985. One half mile to the south of the project’s acreage, ARCO drilled the West Mikkelsen Unit #2 in 1979, penetrating basement and reaching a depth of 11,930’ MD (11,920’ TVD). Three conventional cores were cut in the Tertiary Canning Formation which showed it to be composed of sandstones and siltstones (10,376’ -555’ MD) and to contain oil. A fourth conventional core was cut in basement rock (11,664’ -714’ MD) and revealed it to be quartzite and argillite. The well was plugged and abandoned due to the lack of economic hydrocarbon accumulations. It should be noted that two miles further to the south- southeast, Conoco drilled the Badami #2 well in 1992 and tested the Canning Formation at a rate of 373 BOPD (10,494-582’ MD (TVD)).

Two miles to the south of the East Liberty Project leasehold, Shell Oil drilled the West Mikkelsen Unit #3 well in 1982. The well was drilled directionally 1.4 miles to the northwest from its surface location on the made-made Goose Island and had a bottomhole location only 3⁄4 of a mile from the present Donkel/Cade leases. The well was plugged and abandoned at a depth of 14,430’ MD (11,242’ TVD) after failing to recover a 4.5” drillpipe stuck in the L. Cretaceous Pebble Shale unit. The Mississippian Kekiktuk Formation, the apparent target of the well, was not reached. The next year, Shell was able to reach the Kekiktuk by drilling a straighthole on Goose Island to a depth of 13,060’ MD (TVD). The West Mikkelsen Unit #4 cut 12 conventional cores in the Kekiktuk (11,298’-363’MD) which showed it to have been deposited upon the basement in a shoreline environment as seen by the presence of coals intermingled with its sandstones, siltstones, and shales. The sandstones had porosities up to 25% and production tests taken through casing had flow rates up to 1,328 BOWPD (Test #1, 11,544’-582’ MD). One test in the uppermost Kekiktuk flowed 35 BOPD (21 API; Test #4, 11,317’-348’ MD).

The West Mikkelsen State #1well lies three miles south of the East Liberty Project and two miles west of the Badami Unit boundary. The well was drilled by ConocoPhilips Alaska in November of 1978 to a depth of 15,620’ MD (TVD) in order to test the strata down through the Mississippian Kekiktuk Formation. Nine conventional cores were taken: two in the L. Cretaceous Kemik sandstone (11,236’-309’ MD); four in the Carboniferous Lisburne (11,309’-733’ MD); and three in the Kekiktuk (13,700’-748’ and 14,048’-079’ MD). Tests yielded no fluids from the Kekiktuk and only a small amount of oil and gas from the Lisburne, but the Tertiary Canning Formation flowed 26 degree API oil at a rate of 302 BOPD.

The fifth key well lies four miles to the northwest of the East Liberty Project and 1.5 miles north of the Liberty Unit. The Karluk #1 was drilled by Chevron in April of 1989 to a depth of 11,190’ MD (11,188’ TVD). The well drilled 160’ into basement strata and despite the lack of economic hydrocarbons, it did reveal several encouraging features. Eocene shelf sands were encountered below 6,696’ MD that had porosities that ranged from 25% to 32%, and the interval from 7,600’ to 8,150’ MD contained residual “dead oil”. In a deeper interval that contained the Hue Shale (10,543’ MD), the Pebble Shale (10,754’ MD), the Hot Gamma Shale (10, 765’ MD), and “Clastics” (10,997’ MD), continuous gas was encountered that increase in weight from C2 ethane at 9,810’, to C3 propane at 10,270’, to C4 butane at 10,525’, to C5 pentane at 10,750’ MD. The pentane was continuously recorded down through the “Clastics” that were deposited upon the basement metaclastics and metacarbonates (11,030’ MD).

As shown by a Canning Formation structure map provided to the AOGCC, the turbidite hydrocarbon accumulations within the Badami Unit are stratigraphically trapped within Tertiary submarine fan sands that dip to the northeast. As a result, on the East Liberty Project leasehold it is likely that similar turbidite sands are present and these would be “first in line” to receive any oil migrating updip out of the Dinken Graben that lies to the north. Other deeper targets also appear to be viable for the project. In the Cretaceous these include the Thomson Sands of the Point Thomson Unit and the Killian Sands of the Badami Unit. The Mississippian Kekiktuk Formation is productive in both the Badami and Liberty Units. Even an upper basement target is possible, much like the ARCO Stinson #1 oil discovery made in 1990 just to the east of the Point Thomson Unit. This fractured Franklinian basement of clastic and carbonate strata (Devonian to Precambrian) was tested in the open hole from 14,863’ to 15,194’ MD (TVD). DST #1 flowed 37 to 51 degree API oil at a rate of 430 BOPD, with 7.1-18.0 MMCFGPD and 520 BWPD. It was predicted that flow rates would have reached 700 to 800 BOPD under clean-hole conditions. To the west and within the Point Thomson Unit, the Alaska State #F-1 well tested the basement strata at 152 BOPD (35 API) with 3.0 MMCFGPD and the Alaska State #A-1 well had a test with flow rates of 4,220 BWPD. Thus the East Liberty Project area sits in line with the Stinson #1, the Alaska State #A-1, the Alaska State #F-1, and the Chevron Karluk #1 (four miles to the northwest), all of which had similar carbonate-rich basement lithologies.