North Badami

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 lies north of the Badami Unit (60 MMBO), ¼ mile west of Pt. Thomson Unit (295 MMBO, 8 TCFG), and 7.5 miles east of the Liberty Unit (125 MMBO).
    • Badami #2: tested 373 BOPD from Canning Formation.
    • Red Dog #1: had 1,275’ of oil & gas shows in Middle Brookian sands.
    • W. Mikkelsen #2: had oil in Canning Formation in a conventional core.
  • Leases
    • ADL 391632, 391633, 391634, 391635, 391636, 391637   (5/31/2018)
    • ADL 392135   (?/?/2022)

Geologic Summary by: D. T. Gross (3/16/2012)


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The North Badami Project is located upon the crest of the Barrow Arch and is comprised of six leases totaling 14,770 acres and one tract of 2,560 acres acquired in the BS 2011W Sale, giving a project acreage total of 17,330 acres. Water depths in the area range between 10’ and 20’. The project is immediately adjacent to the northeast corner of the Badami Unit, is a quarter mile west of the Point Thomson Unit, and is 7 1⁄2 miles east of the Liberty 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 Point Thomson Field has had over 35 years of activity without any production, an issue that has threatened to result in the dissolution of the Point Thomson Unit and the loss of the associated leases, however an Initial Production System (IPS) timetable was laid out in the recent settlement agreement between the State of Alaska and ExxonMobil which will preserve the Point Thomson Unit. The field has been credited with reserves of 300 million barrels of condensate and 8 trillion cubic feet of gas, constituting one quarter of the known gas reserves for the North Slope. The North Badami Project acreage also abuts the northern quadrant of the Greater Bullen Unit, proposed by Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation in March, 2011. These 68 leases (200,179 acres) would have covered an area from between the Badami and Point Thomson unit boundaries south over the now defunct Slugger Unit. Reports of the reserves in the proposed unit’s Red Dog Prospect range from 45 MMBO to 85 MMBO. In October of 2011, BRPC abandoned its unitization efforts at Greater Bullen and relinquished its leases with 2012 expiration dates, retaining two leases adjacent to the southern boundary of the North Badami Project and the northeastern boundary of the Badami Unit. BRPC is presently proposing to form the Telemark Unit over these two leases.

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 of 45 MMBO for the Kekiktuk accumulation found in the #B1-38 well, 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.

The Point Thomson Field was discovered in 1977 by Exxon which encountered hydrocarbons in the L. Cretaceous Thomson sandstone and the Tertiary Flaxman turbidites. Early in 2009, ExxonMobil drilled two Point Thomson wells, the PTU-15 and PTU-16, as part of its $1.3 billion development project for the field and plans to begin production of gas condensate as early as year-end 2015 (subject to pipeline completion). At least five wells will be used in a cycling project that involves bringing gas to the surface, collecting the condensate, and then injecting the dry gas back down into the reservoir. To bring this production to market, ExxonMobil recently announced the plans for a 22-mile pipeline to connect Point Thomson to the Badami Field and PTE Pipeline, LLC has applied to the DNR for permission to lay this common carrier pipeline. Construction was slated to begin in 2011 and to be completed by 2014 but was delayed by a year due to permitting issues, which have been resolved. Presently, the liquid production potential at the Point Thomson Field is only 10,000 barrels per day of gas condensate, leaving an excess capacity in the planned pipeline of 60,000 barrels per day. Additional production may come from Sourdough, a Lower Tertiary turbidite oil discovery that was made by Chevron and BP in the southeastern corner of the Point Thomson Unit. Their 1997 announcement placed its reserves at 100 MMBO and it has been suggested that this reservoir may extend eastward under the ANWR Area 1002.

There are four key wells adjacent to the North Badami Project leasehold. Two and a half miles to the west, ARCO drilled the West Mikkelsen Unit #2 well 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 (10,376-555’ MD) which showed it to be composed of sandstones and siltstone and to contain heavy oil. A fourth conventional core was cut in basement rock (11,664-714’ MD) and revealed it to be orthoquartzite and argillite.

The Badami #2 well was drilled by Conoco in 1992, one and a half miles from southwestern corner of the leasehold. The well reached total depth at 11,860 MD (11,406’ TVD) in the Hue Shale. One conventional core was cut in the Canning Formation (10,730-90’ MD) which showed it to be composed of sandstone and siltstone. A subsequent test of the Canning Formation flowed oil at 373 BOPD and gas at 110 MCFPD (10,494 –11,082’ MD).

Slightly over three miles south of the project area, Humble Oil (Exxon) drilled the E. Mikkelsen Bay State #1 in June of 1971 as a straight-hole to 15,205’. The well had a successful test of Canning Formation turbidites that flowed 24 API oil at a rate of 180 BOPD. Four conventional cores were taken but had no shows; one each in the Pebble Shale and Kayak Shale and two in the pre-Mississippian section.

In 1999, BP Exploration (Alaska) drilled a directional well (19,400’ MD; 12,379’ TVD) from an icepad on the Beaufort Sea shoreline. Its bottomhole location was three miles to the north and was less than a mile east of the North Badami Project’s ADL 391633 lease and a bit more than a mile south of ADL 392135 lease. The Red Dog #1 was originally suspended and had its suspension extended until 12/31/2011, but BPX is presently in the final stages of its plans to plug and abandon it during the winter of 2011-12. The well reached the Top Canning Formation at 14,035’ MD (8,821 TVD), the Top Middle Brookian Sands at 16,843’ MD (10,191’ TVD), the Base Middle Brookian Sands at 18,420’ MD (11,466’ TVD), and the Top Hue Shale / Shale Wall at 19,295’ MD (12,277’ TVD). Though the primary target zone (17,520-910’ MD) had low porosity due to the predominance of siltstone and clays, these Middle Brookian Sands (Canning Formation) had oil and gas shows in the interval from 16,843’ to 18,420’ MD. The sandstones displayed porosities of 14-18% with light to heavy oil staining, faint yellow cut, and faint yellow fluorescence. The uppermost sands had 16 degree API oil and most sands had gas shows on the mudlog.

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 North Badami Project leasehold it is likely that similar but younger Tertiary 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. It is important to note that the North Badami Project area lacks the well control to firmly establish the northern limit of the Kekiktuk subcrop and so this porous/permeable zone could be present along the southern portion of the project area. North of the Kekiktuk, the upper “basement” is prospective, much like the strata that contained the ARCO Stinson #1 deeper 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(ten miles due east), and the Chevron Karluk #1 (eleven miles to the northwest), all of which had similar carbonate-rich basement lithologies.