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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 62 (1978)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1311

Last Page: 1321

Title: Developments in Alaska in 1977

Author(s): Roger C. Herrera (2)


Twenty-nine exploratory wells were drilled in Alaska in 1977. Two oil discoveries were announced at the Pt. Thomson-Flaxman area on the North Slope and 4 suspended wells near the Prudhoe Bay field may have found oil; 7 wells drilled in the Gulf of Alaska OCS area were dry. Of 47 development wells drilled 2 were dry; 4 service wells were completed.

Industry geologic-geophysical field activity consisted of 87.8 crew-months, a decrease of 42% compared with 1976. This reduction affected all the major sedimentary basins although the North Slope had only a slight decrease, and 3 smaller basins showed an increase in activity from the previous year.

Other drilling activity included the completion of a deep Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test (COST) well in the Lower Cook Inlet, and 3 deep stratigraphic holes on the Kodiak Shelf.

Federal acreage under lease in 1977 decreased 37% despite a successful Lower Cook Inlet OCS sale. State-leased acreage declined 10% because of relinquishments and the continuing freeze on the issuance of new leases. With the completion of the Trans-Alaska pipeline and the start of production from the Prudhoe Bay field, the year's oil production showed a large increase of 156%. Gas production was also up 38%.

The state and federal land situation in Alaska remains unresolved; however, legislative decisions in 1978 may clarify the position and allow for reasonable exploration activity in the future.

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