Armstrong Resources LLC filed applications this morning to drill three wells on state leases that lie between the North Slope’s Kuparuk River unit and Thetis Island, Stu Gustafson, vice president of operations for Armstrong, told PNA.
“Timing is the key component for our entire program plan,” Gustafson said of the Denver-based independent’s plans to begin building ice roads “as early as Dec. 1, weather permitting.”
Armstrong told the state in its plan of operations that drilling is expected to begin on or before Jan. 20 at the first location and be completed by March 15. Well evaluations (testing) may be performed at any of the well locations. All sea ice operations are expected to be complete by March 22.
The company’s first well location, the Ivik, which means walrus in Inupiaq, is in the southwest quarter of section 7, township 13 north, range 8 east, Umiat Meridian. The second well, the Ooguruk (bearded seal), is in the northwest quarter of section 31-T14N-R8E, UM. The third well, the Natchiq (seal), is in the northwest quarter of section 16-T13N-R8E, UM.
Ice roads from the Oliktok Point dock will serve as Armstrong’s access to the three grounded ice pad locations within the Barrier Islands. No tundra travel is planned.
Gustafson has contracted with Natchiq Technical Services to handle operations for the Kuparuk-Thetis Island exploration program. Natchiq Technical will oversee planning, engineering and implementation of Armstrong’s 2002-2003 exploration plan, including selection of a company to build 10 miles of ice road.
Although no contractors have been chosen for the project to date, Nabors Alaska Drilling’s 27E was listed in Armstrong’s permit applications. A final decision to use either a Nabors or a Doyon Drilling rig will be made by Natchiq Technical and Armstrong, Gustafson said.
Armstrong, which bought its first Alaska oil and gas leases in October, picked up a group of 10 leases in and near Exxon Mobil Corp.’s former Thetis Island unit where Exxon drilled an 8,460-foot vertical exploration well in 1993. The Thetis Island No.1 was certified as capable of producing in paying quantities in February 1995 and is on a lease which is currently owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp.