Alaska Dispatch News -
ConocoPhillips has ordered a powerful new drilling rig that will surely crush long-distance drilling records in Alaska while allowing the company to unlock oil from a new field northwest of the Alpine development.
The company said on Thursday it has signed a contract for the building of the rig with Doyon Drilling Inc., an Alaska Native corporation.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement from ConocoPhillips last week that it set a new mark for drilling length in Alaska with a 5-mile well at its CD5 field on the North Slope.
This new rig, set to arrive in Alaska in 2020, will allow development of Fiord West, a field discovered in 1996, the company said. It will be able to drill wells 6.25 miles long, more than the 4 miles often drilled by long-reach rigs in Alaska.
ConocoPhillips has drilled exploration wells at Fiord West, but is not ready to provide details on how much additional oil the field will add to the trans-Alaska pipeline, said Natalie Lowman, communications director for ConocoPhillips Alaska.