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We work in an industry that demands new thinking, and we’re always looking for a better way to do things. We pursue technologies that improve our ability to recover oil that would otherwise stay locked in formations underground, and we employ techniques that allow us to drill more wells from a single pad, thus minimizing our environmental footprint. Equally important is a commitment to continuously maintain our infrastructure and find new ways to prevent problems before they occur. We continually apply the best science to address our industry’s important challenges. It’s all part of leading the way in exploration and development in the Last Frontier.

Development for the Future

Our Alpine field is a good example of innovation. It is the first North Slope field developed exclusively with horizontal well technology, allowing us to reach more than 50 square miles of subsurface from a single drilling pad. ConocoPhillips Alaska recently announced first oil at its long-anticipated CD5 drill site. CD5, part of the Alpine Field, is the first commercial oil development on Alaska Native lands within the boundaries of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). To learn more about this "Innovation in the Arctic"  click here.

Cutting Edge Technologies

Cutting edge technology meets its match in Alaska, where innovative techniques are used to address the extremely complex subsurface, drilling and production challenges Alaska has to offer. Our employees in Alaska are focused on making advancements in reservoir, drilling, production and operations technologies.

One great example of technology used to address the complex challenges of the Kuparuk field is our purpose-built Coiled Tubing Drilling (CTD) rig, CDR2. ConocoPhillips Alaska’s CTD team designed, started up and now operates the most advanced CTD rig in the world. 

CTD is a leading-edge technology that utilizes spools of continuous tubing to re-enter existing wells and then drill multiple horizontal lateral wells from a central wellbore. CTD rig Nabors CDR2 has drilled about 80 wells since it began operations in 2009, resulting in the addition of about 14 million barrels of incremental oil (gross) to date. CDR2 has shown steady, continuous improvement since startup and is now an integral part of the Kuparuk redevelopment plan, accessing challenged oil within this structurally complex reservoir.

In 2014, the rig drilled 19 wells and completed more than 96,000 feet of new wellbore, record numbers for the Kuparuk program. Based on the success of CDR2, another rig is on order and is expected to double the capacity to develop challenging oil reserves.