Midland, Texas-based Rutter and Wilbanks Corp. encountered high geologic pressures at a depth of 1,200 feet, earlier than the company expected it would, on its gas exploration well near Glennallen, in Alaska’s Copper River basin, company officials told Petroleum News early in March.
Bill Rutter Jr. said the company set casing at the well, because it hit high pressure earlier than it expected.
“Geologically it’s good, but from an engineering standpoint it complicates our lives,” Rutter said.
The company started drilling the well in February. With a targeted depth of 7,500 feet, it will be the deepest well ever drilled in the region. The company expects to complete the well before the end of March.
Bill Rutter III was in Anchorage when he told Petroleum News a sidetrack well had tipped the company to expect high pressures, but not at depths as shallow as 1,200 feet.
“The high pressure was shallower than we thought — in a way that’s good,” he said.
The company hopes a major gas discovery will stimulate the North Slope spur line concept and convince the state to build a section of line from Glennallen to Palmer, to get the company’s gas into the Enstar system to feed consumers in the Cook Inlet area. No wells have been drilled in Alaska’s undeveloped Copper River basin since Copper Valley Machine Works drilled the Alicia No. 1 well in 1983.
Fairweather Inc. is the operator of the well, the company said. Forest Oil and Anschutz Exploration are partners in the deal.
Editor’s note: See full story in March 20 issue of Petroleum News.