Point Thomson construction: proceeding on schedule.

Author:Bradner, Mike
Position:OIL & GAS

Construction at the big Point Thomson field project east of Prudhoe Bay is proceeding on schedule. Work started last winter on civil infrastructure, including roads and the airfield and installation of the operations camp. Telecommunications and power supply facilities were completed this last summer, as well as bulk fuel storage tanks.

ExxonMobil Corporation is the project operator at Point Thomson, and holds State-owned oil and gas leases along with BP Exploration Alaska, Inc., ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., and a number of small interest owners.

Point Thomson construction is expected to be complete in the winter of 2015-2016 with the first liquid condensates to be shipped to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in May 2016. The project will produce ten thousand barrels per day of liquids, although the pipeline is being built to be able to transport as much as seventy thousand barrels per day, which will allow for growth of production.

Point Thomson's resources are well established. There are reserves of about 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 200 million barrels of liquid condensates, a natural gas liquid, in the main reservoir of the field. There are additional conventional crude oil resources in the area although it is not known whether those are economic to produce.

In terms of the gas, the reserves at Point Thomson amount to about one quarter of the known gas reserves on the North Slope, which means the project is very important to any future natural gas pipeline.

For now, Point Thomson is providing a big boost for the North Slope service and support industry. It is the only significant North Slope construction project currently underway.

About 1,100 people from sixty-five companies were employed in the summer phase of work, with over six hundred at the site at any given time. The project achieved rates of 85 percent Alaska hire last summer, ExxonMobil's Alaska manager, Karen Haledon, told the Resource Development Council in a briefing in late September.

The airfield became fully operational in early fall, which means the project now has year-around access to larger aircraft for logistics support.

The roster of contractors is a "Who's Who" list of the Alaska support industry. Alaska Frontier Constructors built the roads, site airport, and a permanent service pier for barge support. Doyon Ltd. is building the twenty-mile pipeline that will connect Point Thomson to the existing Badami field pipeline. Doyon installed about 2,200 vertical support members for the pipeline last winter and Doyon will install the pipe this winter...

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