New research conducted by the Institute for Northern Engineering’s Petroleum Development Lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, demonstrates potential for commercial production of billions of barrels of heavy oil under existing fields on Alaska’s North Slope.

UAF engineers and Hilcorp Alaska deployed an enhanced oil recovery method known as polymer flooding to pull the thicker, syrup-like viscous oil to the surface. The latest results were presented at a press conference at UAF on Oct. 7. 

The process injects a mixture of polymer and seawater into the reservoir, substantially increasing the production of heavy oil compared to traditional water injection. The new research demonstrates the technology could yield higher oil production on the North Slope over the next decade.

In commenting on the latest research, Gov. Mike Dunleavy noted that the effort could result in unlocking tens of billions of barrels of heavy oil.

“That is a resource too large to ignore,” he said. “If we have a breakthrough, heavy oil will extend the lifespan of the oil pipeline and provide substantial revenue for the state, and the Alaska Permanent Fund.”

Research shows massive potential for North Slope heavy oil production

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Whidbey Thedog says:

    Collect your PFDs, but melt the planet in the process. Well done, Alaska!

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    This would be be very useful when we the People are going to lawfully and legally take our country back from the evil regime and start cleaning up the country and rebuilding. Looking forward to putting paid schills like Whidbey Thedog in his dog house for good because the humanity-loving people of the world are not going to tolerate the divisiveness of the evil regime and their minions.

  • North to Alaska says:

    Don’t forget that the there is enough new oil production in the works right now to fully fund the state government in the next few years. Pikka = 160k bpd, Willow = 180k bpd, pantheon resource development next to pipeline and highway = 120k bpd.
    Tell Dunleavy to take his 50/50 PFD enshrined in the constitution to take a hike.

  • Steve P Peterson says:

    Murkowski and Sullivan sold us out to install an oil hating lib. We are screwed.