Excess capacity in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System could provide a means for developing oil existing in Alaskan North Slope shale formations. If this play is explored successfully, immediate results could ensue, according to The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Bill Barron, state director of oil and gas, stated on November 1 that the number of wells being used to develop shale could double in the next 10 years, the media outlet reports. More wells would be needed since shale wells produce less oil than other wells.
Great Bear Petroleum LLC acquired leases to 500,000 acres worth of state lands last year. Afterwards, the company filed a plan with the state that describes its intentions to drill up to four exploratory wells, according to Oil and Gas Journal.
"The interest in Alaskan shale has significantly increased since the lease sale last year about this time, when Great Bear stepped up and secured 500,000 acres of a ‘play’ that no one really even thought about," Barron said, the The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. "In a year’s time we’re trying to make sure that we get everybody in place and look further down the road."