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North Slope Development Details Revealed

Great Bear said in its amendment that its exploration and evaluation program "is designed to recover critical information, including the amount of oil and gas saturation found in the rock formations; the mechanics of the rock formations and their reaction to methods of hydraulic fracturing; initial production rates following fracturing; and how rapidly those production rates decline in order to develop a type curve to determine estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) on a per well basis as well as for the play."

That type curve, the company said, will be an important element in determining the commercial viability of the play.

Analogous plays

Great Bear said that considering typical production profiles of analogous Lower 48 unconventional wells, the decline curve is expected to lessen or flatten out during the first six months, providing information the company needs to determine estimated ultimate recovery on a per well basis.

After its wells are fracture stimulated, the company said, "production flow testing will begin through flowback equipment consisting of a sand separator, line heater, 4-phase separator and test tanks."

Produced water and any sand or solids will be trucked to BP's disposal site at Prudhoe Bay and oil will be processed using modular processing equipment on site and then trucked for sales.

Subject to Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approval, natural gas will be flared on site.

Stable production the goal

Great Bear said hydraulic fracture stimulation should allow the well to flow liquids to the surface, with pressure decreasing as oil flows, reducing the flow.

"Even after fluids will no longer flow to the surface unassisted, the evaluation of the well will likely not be complete," the company said, and either gas assist or a submersible pump may be needed.

"A complete well test will evaluate the declining production rates from the well and determine when the well (with these additional assistance methods) reaches a level of stable production."

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