July 21, 1998 --- Vol. 4, No. 37July 1998

ARCO Alaska adds third coiled tubing drilling rig at Prudhoe Bay

ARCO Alaska Inc. said July 21 that it has put a third coiled tubing drilling rig to work at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope.

The company said coiled tubing drilling has expanded the drilling opportunities at Prudhoe Bay by substantially lowering the cost of reservoir penetrations. Fifty percent of 220 planned reservoir penetrations at Prudhoe Bay in 1998 and 1999 will be drilled with coiled tubing. The new coiled tubing drilling unit is capable of completing up to 22 reservoir penetrations a year.

ARCO said it has been using coiled tubing units to drill horizontal sidetracks in existing wells since 1993, but coiled tubing units used in the past were built for more traditional well work, and modified to allow drilling operations. The new coiled tubing drilling rig was designed specifically for drilling.

The new coiled tubing unit, CDR No. 1, is owned jointly by Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. and Transocean Offshore Inc. ARCO employs another coiled tubing drilling rig in its Prudhoe Bay operations owned by Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. and Schlumberger Dowell. BP (Exploration) Alaska Inc. also operates a coiled tubing rig at Prudhoe Bay.

GRI authorized to reinject water from 3 Houston gas well

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ruled June 30 that GRI Inc. can inject produced water without first bringing it to the surface.

The order, for the 3 Houston gas well at the Houston gas field some 30 miles northeast of Anchorage, allows GRI to pump formation waters produced from the dewatering of coal seams into a deeper sandstone interval without first producing the water to the surface.

GRI Inc. President Dave Lappi told PNA that the company is really after two permits from the commission, the subsurface water transfer it received for the 3 Houston well and an area injection order.

The area injection order, Lappi said, would cover water produced to the surface. While the company’s preferred method is not to bring water to the surface, he said, an areawide injection order would allow produced water from the other two wells the company has drilled to be initially brought to the surface and disposed of in the 3 Houston well.

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