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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

BP may restart Badami wells near ANWR

High oil prices may lure British Petroleum to restart operations at its Badami oilfield, the easternmost field on Alaska's North Slope, located about halfway between Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"We want to try new technology and hopefully change Badami's fortune," BP spokesman Daren Beaudo told the Anchorage Daily News.

Badami became a major bust for BP soon after it went into production in 1998, producing only 1,400 barrels per day out of a total North Slope production of around 1 million barrels per day. Production was halted in 2003. The seven wells at Badami cost more than $300 million to develop and have produced a little more 4 million barrels of oil so far. Which means the project probably never got even halfway toward breaking even. All of Badami's seven wells operate from a single gravel pad, representing an example of how the industry and politicians say oilfields in ANWR will operate.

Will Nebesky of Alaska's Division of Oil and Gas said BP's announcement indicates that $50-per-barrel oil will continue for some time. "They think in terms of sustainable price," he said. "That's encouraging that Badami would be getting attention again."

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