CD5 is the first commercial oil development on Alaska Native lands within the boundaries of the National Petroleum
Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). In addition to bringing on new North Slope oil production, the infrastructure installed for CD5 will help enable future development of the NPR-A. The CD5 project, an extension of the Alpine field, consists of a new production drill site, approximately six miles west of the existing Alpine central facilities. Access to the site is via a gravel road from the existing Alpine road system. The project also included four bridges with one over the Nigliq Channel of the Colville River. The original CD5 development plan called for 15 wells, but in April 2016 ConocoPhillips approved funding for additional wells at CD5, bringing it to full design and permit capacity of 33 wells. Those additional wells will come online in late 2017. Expected peak gross production from CD5 was 16,000 barrels of oil per day (BOD) but as of mid-2016 the field was producing 20,000 BOD. The road, gravel pad, wells and facilities, four bridges and pipelines represented a total project investment of more than $1 billion, more than 700 direct jobs and hundreds more support jobs during construction.
Successful exploration finds the Alpine-West discovery within the National
Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.
BLM approves the Alpine Satellite Development Plan, which includes the CD5 drill site to develop Alpine-West discovery within the NPR-A.
ConocoPhillips begins preliminary engineering and design effort and submits project development permits to necessary
ConocoPhillips builds feedback from Nuiqsut residents into project plans resulting in a new bridge location selected to minimize project effects on subsistence.
Permit applications were resubmitted to appropriate agencies. The permits reflected the updated design which had the support of the Kuukpik Corporation, the Native
village of Nuiqsut.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Alaska District, initially denied ConocoPhillips’ application for a federal Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for CD5 in February 2010. ConocoPhillips appealed to the COE, Pacific Ocean Division, and in December 2010, the decision was remanded to the Alaska
District for reconsideration.
Final permit received in December 2011, signaling approval to develop Alpine drill site CD5 in the NPR-A.
ConocoPhillips announced that the Alpine field drill site CD5 had been sanctioned for funding and that plans would move forward.
Project execution begins, with a focus on final design and engineering, bridge fabrication, ordering supplies and equipment
and finalizing construction plans.
Ice Road Season
In the limited 90-plus day window known
as “ice-road season,” equipment and materials can be transported to the location via the seasonal ice-road. The first of two project construction seasons included installation of the CD5 road, gravel pad and three of four bridges, as well as the foundation for the 1,400
foot Nigliq Channel Bridge.
Equipment installed at Alpine to
allow eventual receipt of CD5 oil.
Planning and innovation allowed an extended construction season. Beginning in October, the Nigliq Channel Bridge super-structure was installed using an innovative hydraulic launch process. The bridge was completed
in the early spring.
Ice Road Season
Beyond completion of the Nigliq Channel Bridge, the second construction season was focused on installation of pipelines, power and communications. Additionally, the modular production-related facilities, which were largely fabricated in Alaska, were transported to CD5.
Drill Rig arrives at CD5.
Final installation of modular production facilities, inspections and commissioning of equipment in preparation for facility start-up. The lights are turned on and drilling begins.
Drilling of 15 initial planned
wells will be complete.
Construction is complete and First Oil is achieved – more than 2
months ahead of schedule.