ASRC is situated within one of the largest hydrocarbon provinces of North America. Major oil companies have leased, and are leasing, tracts of ASRC land throughout the region. Over the last 25 years several exploratory wells have been drilled on ASRC lands, however no development activity occurred until the recent discovery of the Alpine Oil Field located in the Colville River Delta.
ASRC Oil Leases
The Colville River Delta, 50 miles west of Prudhoe Bay, is the scene of recent exploratory activity leading to the development of the 429 million-barrel Alpine Oil Field, operated by ConocoPhillips Alaska Alpine is the fifth largest discovery on the North Slope and started production in late 2001. Approximately 50% of the Alpine Oil Field are on ASRC leases, with the remainder underlying State of Alaska leases. Most of the surface estate is owned by the Kuukpik Corporation, it is the first oil discovery on native lands in Alaska. Recent announcements of Fiord, a 50 million-barrel satellite field to the north and Nanuq, a 40 million-barrel satellite field to the south, increases the potential of finding such satellite accumulations in the area.
In 1998, ASRC entered into an agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, giving them exclusive exploratory access to 3.3 million acres of land controlled by ASRC. This agreement gives Anadarko, exploration rights to 2.3 million acres of ASRC land. Anadarko also maintains exploration rights to an additional 1.0 million acres of land, which ASRC will eventually take title to about 240,000 acres. In 2001 Anadarko exercised its option to take lands to lease with the leasing of 217 lease blocks covering over 1.1 million acres.
ASRC and Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation (KIC) own 92,000 subsurface and surface acres respectively in the Coastal Plain of the 19.8 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The acreage surrounds the village of Kaktovik, the only settlement in ANWR.
Significant Oil and Gas Discoveries
The ANWR Coastal Plain is thought to hold North America's greatest potential for significant onshore oil and gas discoveries. The recently completed Oil and Gas Resource Potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 Area Alaska, by the United States Geological Survey states the range of technically recoverable oil in the coastal plain is estimated to be between 4.2 and 11.8 billion barrels. Some of the coastal plain's major geologic trends and structures extend onto ASRC/KIC land. In the mid-1980's a consortium of oil companies conducted seismic studies across the coastal plain and the only exploratory well drilled, the Chevron KIC #1, was drilled on an ASRC lease. Chevron Texaco and BP currently hold leases to all of the ASRC/KIC acreage within the ANWR coastal plain.