ExxonMobil Corp. said Friday it has started up production at Point Thomson, the first company-operated project on Alaska’s North Slope, where initial output is expected to be 5,000 b/d of condensate and 100 MMcf/d of natural gas.

The project “further reinforces our commitment to pursuing the development of Alaska’s natural gas resources,” ExxonMobil Development Co. President Neil W. Duffin said.

The recycled gas at the central pad facilities is reinjected for future recovery, the company said. Point Thomson is on state acreage along the Beaufort Sea, 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay. It includes 28 state leases on 93,000 acres.

“At full rate production, the facility is designed to produce up to 10,000 b/d of natural gas condensate and 200 MMcf/d of recycled gas. It is anticipated to reach that level when the west pad well is online in a few months.”

The Point Thomson reservoir holds an estimated 8 Tcf of gas and associated condensate, a resource that represents about one-quarter of the known gas on the North Slope. Potential future development “will depend on a range of factors, such as business considerations, investment climate, and the fiscal and regulatory environment.”

Through last year ExxonMobil and its Point Thomson partners had invested close to $4 billion to develop the production facilities. Partners include BP plc, ConocoPhillips, Leede Operating Co. and Russia’s state-owned OAO Rosneft (see Daily GPI, Feb. 14, 2013).

ExxonMobil resumed drilling the development last year, and the output could underpin long-range plans to export Alaska gas to Asian markets (see Daily GPI, Oct. 26, 2015; March 12, 2015). In December 2012 the Regulatory Commission of Alaska granted ExxonMobil’s PTE Pipeline LLC a permit to construct and operate a condensate pipeline to connect the Point Thomson facilities with BP plc’s Badami Pipeline on the North Slope (see Daily GPI, Dec. 12, 2012). The condensate pipeline is required under a settlement that resolves years of disputes related to the unit’s development, (see Daily GPI, April 2, 2012).

About 100 Alaskan companies to date have contributed to the success of the project, with thousands of people directly and indirectly employed, ExxonMobil said.