Alaska’s known oil reserves just got 80 percent larger
Dallas-based oil and gas exploration firm Caelus has announced the discovery of a significant quantity of oil in Arctic Ocean waters off the coast of Alaska. There are some 6 billion barrels of light oil thought to be lying in Smith Bay, approximately 450 miles northwest of the city of Fairbanks. Here are the details of the find at a glance:
2.4 billion barrels are thought to be recoverable
In 2014, it was said that Alaska contained proven oil reserves of 2.86 billion — Caelus’ new find just about doubles that figure. As a point of comparison, 79 million barrels of crude oil are produced worldwide each day, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
“This discovery could be really exciting for the state of Alaska,” Caelus CEO Jim Musselman said in a statement. “It has the size and scale to play a meaningful role in sustaining the Alaskan oil business over the next three or four decades.”
The field could provide 200,000 barrels of oil a day
Alaska’s oil output peaked in 1988 at more than 2 million barrels per day. The state’s oil output has been declining since, with data from the Energy Department placing its output at 483,000 barrels a day last year.
Production is still years away
The Smith Bay oil discovery came as the result of two wells drilled this year from ice pads less than 2 miles offshore in water only 4 to 6 feet deep. Another appraisal well is planned for 2018, and it is believed that the regulatory process could take between three and five years. Caelus has said that Smith Bay oil could be flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline by 2022.
Caelus Energy Alaska Smith Bay owns 75 percent of the state leases at the new discovery site. NordAq Energy Inc. holds a 17.5 percent interest, with L71 Resources LLC holding the remaining 7.5 percent interest.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.