Marathon, operator at the Ninilchik unit on the Kenai Peninsula (Marathon 60 percent, Unocal 40 percent), reports that startup at the field is going well.
John Barnes, Marathon’s Alaska asset team leader, told Petroleum News earlier in the month that natural gas production at Ninilchik began at 15 million cubic feet a day in early September, and had reached 25 million cubic feet a day by mid-October.
Marathon said in its third quarter report, issued yesterday, that production is now 27 million cubic feet a day and that it expects production at the field to approach 40 million cubic feet a day by the end of the year.
Barnes said five wells have been drilled at Ninilchik, three are producing, and Marathon is in the process of hooking up the other two.
More development drilling at Ninilchik is planned for next year.
“We have just completed a 3-D seismic shoot which will be used to specifically plan our 2004 program,” Barnes said. The 88 square mile 3-D seismic shoot was completed Oct. 7. Actual budgets for next year are not yet set, but Barnes said he expects to see two to three wells drilled at Ninilchik in 2004.
Barnes also said the company spud an exploration well, the Kasilof South No. 1, mid-month. The well “is being drilled from onshore to the offshore Kasilof structure using the Nabors 273 drilling rig,” he said. Marathon’s plan for the Kasilof exploration unit calls for one well this year and a second within two years.
Kasilof is an offshore accumulation being drilled from onshore. Barnes said the well will go out some 17,000 feet and have a bottomhole depth of about 9,000 feet.
Barnes said Marathon is evaluating onshore 3-D seismic shot this spring near Sterling which might lead to exploration drilling next year.