Kuparuk River Oil Field

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Kuparuk River Oil Field
Kuparuk River Oil Field is located in Alaska
Kuparuk River Oil Field
Kuparuk River Unit's location in Alaska
CountryUnited States
RegionAlaska North Slope
Coordinates70°20′14″N 149°51′01″W / 70.3372°N 149.8504°W / 70.3372; -149.8504Coordinates: 70°20′14″N 149°51′01″W / 70.3372°N 149.8504°W / 70.3372; -149.8504
OperatorConocoPhillips Alaska
Field history
DiscoveryApril 1969, Sinclair's Ugnu 1 well
Start of development1979
Start of productionDecember 13, 1981
Peak of production322,000 barrels per day (~1.60×10^7 t/a)
Peak year1992
Current production of oil230,000 barrels per day (~1.1×10^7 t/a)
Estimated oil in place6,000 million barrels (~8.2×10^8 t)

The Kuparuk River Oil Field, or Kuparuk, located in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States, is the second largest oil field in North America by area. It produces approximately 120,000 barrels per day (~6.0×10^6 t/a) of oil and is estimated to have 2 billion barrels (320×10^6 m3) of recoverable oil reserves.[1] It is named for the Kuparuk River.

Kuparuk was discovered by Sinclair Oil in April 1969 at the Ugnu Number 1 well, named for the nearby Ugnuravik River.[2] Oil was found in the Kuparuk sandstone on the Colville structure.[3] Production was first announced by ARCO in 1979 and planned to start in 1982. Production actually began December 13, 1981, on five small gravel drilling pads. Production was expected to peak in 1986 at 250,000 barrels per day (40,000 m3/d), but did not peak until 1992 at 322,000 barrels per day (51,200 m3/d).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuparuk oil field from mtri.org
  2. ^ Petroleum News. Kuparuk discovery made by Sinclair at Ugnu No. 1
  3. ^ Sweet, J.M., 2008, Discovery at Prudhoe Bay, Blaine: Hancock House, ISBN 0888396309, pp. 162-163
  4. ^ Petroleum News. Production begins 3 months early - Kuparuk comes online in December ’81 from 5 gravel drill sites in 20-mile square ARCO-owned area.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jamison, H.C., Brockett, L.D., and McIntosh, R.A., 1980, Prudhoe Bay - A 10-Year Perspective, in Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade: 1968-1978, AAPG Memoir 30, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0891813063.

External links[edit]