Evergreen Resources Alaska has submitted an operating plan to the state of Alaska for a new shallow coalbed gas pilot in the Matanuska Valley 30 miles north of Anchorage. The company drilled two pilots in this area last year.
The company requested approval for two pilots, "to provide permitting, land management and operational flexibility," but said it currently plans to drill only one of the pilots this year. Both are in the Houston area. Each includes four wells drilled to depths no greater than 3,750 feet. Work is expected to begin Aug. 1.
After the wells are drilled and completed, the wells may be production tested for as long as 10 months, with resulting gas vented or flared and the water trucked to an approved water disposal well.
Evergreen drilled two pilots in 2002, both in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Pioneer unit which Evergreen purchased from Ocean Energy and Unocal in May 2001. The company said it received farmed-in shallow natural gas leases this May for areas adjacent to the Pioneer unit from the Houston area to near Moose Creek north of Palmer — generally north and east of the unit — and has applied for additional shallow natural gas leases adjacent to the farmed-in leases.
The pilots proposed for drilling this year are on shallow gas leases north of the unit.
Evergreen drilled pilot 1 and pilot 2 in 2002. The current operating plan is for pilot 4 and pilot 5, although Evergreen said it expects that only one of those two pilots will be drilled this year.
Evergreen said its 2003-04 exploration program will include one production pilot in the Houston area, either pilot 4 or pilot 5, with four wells. Site preparation and construction of the 200-foot by 175-foot pad and access road are planned to begin in August. Drilling would occur in September, well completion in October and production testing November through August 2004.
Editor's note: See story in July 6 issue of Petroleum News.