The Kuparuk field was discovered in 1969 and began producing in December of 1981. Originally thought to contain 1.6
billion barrels of recoverable oil, Kuparuk has produced more than 2.4 billion barrels by its 30th anniversary. Today,
Kuparuk produces 120,000 barrels a day from five different reservoirs. A footprint that was initially 65 acres has been
reduced to just 11, thanks to advancements in technology developed at Kuparuk and expanded to fields like Alpine. The
remaining oil at Kuparuk is increasingly challenging and costly to produce. ConocoPhillips believes that, working with
the state, it is possible that we could continue to produce opportunity for Alaskans at Kuparuk for another 30 years.
Sinclair Oil and Sohio (now BP) discover oil near the Kuparuk River
on Alaska’s North Slope.
Construction begins on the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez is completed in May.
The first oil from Kuparuk enters TAPS at Pump Station 1. Kuparuk owners and State of
Alaska sign an operating agreement.
The second processing facility at Kuparuk (CPF-2) begins operating.
The third processing facility at Kuparuk CPF-3 begins operating.
Kuparuk reaches peak production rate of 320,000 barrels per day.
CPF-2 receives the ARCO President’s Safety Award and the Kuparuk
spill response center is completed.
Large-scale, enhanced oil recovery (LSEOR) starts at Kuparuk and
the first ARCO/BP Alaska Safety Handbook (ASH) is published.
Kuparuk receives ARCO’s Environmental Achievement Award for
pollution prevention. The first North Slope Environmental Field
Handbook is published. The BEAR employee safety process is
initiated. The ARCO/BP Alignment Agreement for Joint Exploration
and Appraisal is signed. West Sak begins producing in December.
Kuparuk’s FLIR system receives ARCO’s Environmental Achievement
Award. Kuparuk satellites Tarn and Tabasco begin producing.
Kuparuk receives Arctic Green Star Certification.
Kuparuk wins EPA Region 10 Evergreen Award. By April, Kuparuk
River Unit produces 1.6 billion
barrels of oil, which was the initial expected recoverable volume for
the unit. In August, Kuparuk reaches 1 million man-hours without a
loss time injury.
ConocoPhillips purchases ARCO Alaska and becomes Kuparuk
operator. Kuparuk River Unit
receives IOGCC Environmental Stewardship Award. In May, the
fourth Kuparuk satellite discovery, Meltwater, is announced.
Kuparuk River Unit receives Phillips Shield Award for Environmental
Achievement followed by the Alaska Governor’s Safety Excellence
Award for CPF-2. The first Palm exploration well drilled.
The $500-million-dollar expansion of West Sak gets under way. By
July, Kuparuk River Unit has produced 2 billion barrels of oil.
OSHA nominates Kuparuk Operations for its VPP Star certification for
the entire field, which will make Kuparuk ConocoPhillips’ largest
upstream entity to receive such an award.
The field celebrates 15th anniversary of working with ASRC Energy Services, an Alaska
Native Corporation subsidiary, as Kuparuk’s primary operations and maintenance labor