November 07, 2003 --- Vol. 9, No. 107November 2003

State of Alaska reviews core drilling operations plans

Evergreen Resources Alaska’s plans for mineral core hole drilling in the Matanuska-Susitna area are under review by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas. The company’s application is available on the division’s Website at under ‘Shallow Natural Gas, Mat-Su Core Application 2003.’

The state said Evergreen is proposing to drill mineral core holes at seven possible locations to gather information on coal seams in the Mat-Su area. These holes are “for geological information only and do not involve dewatering the coal seams or gas production,” the state said.

The program is expected to last approximately eight weeks, beginning in December. Evergreen’s initial plans call for five core holes this winter.

Three of the locations, Kashwitna Lake, Willow Fishhook and Sheep Creek, require state plans of operations because they are on state-owned surface and subsurface.

Evergreen said its program will gather geologic information on coal seams in the Upper Cook Inlet and Eastern Susitna basins. “The purpose of the coring project is to gain geological information on the coal-bearing rock formations penetrated during the drilling, and to recover coal cores for further laboratory testing of their mineralogical, geological, and engineering properties,” Evergreen told the state.

Site preparation is expected to take a week or less at each location and coring each hole is expected to take one and a half to two weeks, with 24-hour per day operations.

One location is north of Palmer, the others are in the vicinity of the Parks Highway from northwest of Houston north to Sheep Creek, with one site northeast of Willow off the Willow Fishhook Road.

See story in Nov. 16 issue of Petroleum News.

Aurora applies to expand Nicolai Creek unit

Aurora Gas has applied to the state of Alaska to expand its Nicolai Creek unit on the west side of Cook Inlet at the mouth of Nikolai Creek, west of Tyonek.

Both the unit and one of two existing gas pool participating areas would be expanded “to include lands proven capable of production in paying quantities,” the state said. The unit would be expanded by 94 acres, based upon Aurora’s 2003 Nicolai Creek 3-D seismic program.

Production from south participating area wells in expected to begin in the fourth quarter of the year, following construction of a six-inch gathering line, which began in August. Aurora said production facilities are installed and commissioned. It is the south participating area which will be expanded.

See story in Nov. 16 issue of Petroleum News.

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