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 contractor.