Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - GSA Luncheon

Pikka-Horseshoe, Willow and Smith Bay: Unraveling Three New Discoveries with Publicly
Available Data

Noon Luncheon 11:30-1:00 pm

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In the last few years, three new discoveries have been announced in the lower Brookian Sequence on the North Slope: Pikka-Horseshoe, Willow and Smith Bay. These exciting prospects and the Nanushuk and Torok Formation plays that host them are at varying stages of exploration maturity. Plans for the 2018 winter activity season call for significant delineation drilling in both the Pikka-Horseshoe and Willow trends. Utilizing only publicly available data, it is possible to ascertain how these discoveries are related, how they differ, and why exploration drilling permits are targeting certain locations.

Under the State of Alaska’s tax credit program, the Department of Natural Resources has recently released multiple 2D and 3D seismic datasets through the Alaska Geologic Materials Center. These datasets are available to industry at steeply discounted cost, and free-of-charge to qualifying research, education, and governmental institutions. One such dataset, the high quality Nanuq South 3D, covers the southern half of the Pikka-Horseshoe discovery. In addition, the survey includes the region where the Stony Hill 1/1A and Putu 2/2A exploration wells are permitted for drilling this winter season. Brookian clinoforms are clear in seismic cross section, comprising the Nanushuk topsets and their time-equivalent Torok foresets and bottomsets. Basic 3D amplitude extractions highlight prospective areas and vintage 2D seismic lines tie together these discoveries while also providing an understanding of the regional geological system.


Josef Chmielowski, Alaska Division of Oil & Gas, Anchorage

Joe Chmielowski was born and raised in Alaska. He earned a BA in physics and a BS in geology from Rutgers College in New Jersey. He received an MS in geophysics from the University of Arizona, Tucson for his work utilizing earthquake seismology to image the largest active magma body in the world (about 15 kilometers beneath the Andean Altiplano in Bolivia).

In 1999, he returned to Alaska as an interpretation geophysicist for BP. He has worked in a variety of BP roles including: slope-wide exploration, Prudhoe Bay light oil production, Milne Point viscous oil appraisal & development, business strategy, Egypt gas exploration (cut short due to the Arab Spring revolution) and the Appraisal Team Lead for Ugnu Heavy Oil and the Liberty offshore development. In 2016, Joe joined the State of Alaska, Division of Oil & Gas with a focus on Western North Slope exploration and new developments.

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